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10 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 10 November, 2019 02:49:07 AM
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Weakened ‘Bulbul’ crosses Bangladesh coast

Staff Reporter, Dhaka
Weakened ‘Bulbul’ crosses Bangladesh coast
Members of local administration help an elderly woman to reach a cyclone centre at Gabura of Shamnagar upazila in Satkhira yesterday as cyclone ‘Bulbul’ was predicted to hit Sundarbans and other adjacent coastal areas. Focus Bangla Photo

The very severe cyclonic storm “Bulbul” over northwest bay weakened into a severe cyclonic storm and started crossing West Bengal-Khulna Coastline (near the Sundarbans) at about 9 pm yesterday. The storm, moving northeastwards at a speed of about 8 km per hour, was likely to complete crossing West Bengal-Khulna coast by midnight, said a special weather bulletin of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) yesterday.

The maximum sustained wind speed within 64 kms of the severe cyclone centre was about 100 km per hour, rising to 120 km in gusts/ squalls. Our staff correspondent reporting from Mongla in Bagerhat said stormy wind started blowing from southwest after 10pm yesterday. While precipitations were continuing throughout the day, it intensified from 11pm. However, the strong storm-wind was still not present in Mongla at 1:30am today. The centre of the storm was set to pass Khulna-Bagerhat area at about 2am-3am.

There were no reports of casualties in Bangladesh due to the storm till filing of this report at 2:00am today. Indian media reported two deaths in the country - one death each in West Bengal and Odisha - due to heavy rain triggered by the very severe cyclonic storm.

At update of the Indian Meteorological Department today said cyclone Bulbul had an intensity of 105-115km per hour wind at the centre, which was gusting to 125km per hour. Bulbul continued its landfall process with the eye of the cyclone lying at 1:30am over south 24 Parganas islands in West Bengal close to the east of the Sundarbans Dhanchi forest, about 70 kilometres from the Bangladesh border.

Earlier, the storm started the landfall process at 9pm Saturday while being located 40km east-southeast of Sagar Islands and the wall cloud region began entering into land. The storm was set to cross into land between Sagar Islands of West Bengal and Khepupara of Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the government has taken elaborate preparations and around 764,000 people have been evacuated from seven coastal districts to 4,071 cyclone centres. Over 50,000 volunteers were deployed to warn residents in low lying coastal areas and help them evacuate to cyclone shelters.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government has taken all-out preparations to tackle the approaching severe cyclone ‘Bulbul’.

“To face this cyclone and protect the people, we’ve taken all-out preparations,” she said at a programme in the capital.  Sheikh Hasina also said the government has made preparations so that it could conduct relief operations right after the cyclone.

The health ministry has prepared a total of 1,577 medical teams at the coastal districts to provide emergency medical services during and after the cyclone.

The three branches of the Bangladesh Armed Forces and the Coast Guard have also taken preparations to tackle the effects of cyclone Bulbul. Helicopters have been kept on stand by while the Navy has kept 5 ships ready to conduct relief and rescue operations.

The BMD has asked maritime ports of Mongla and Payra to keep hoisted great danger signal no. 10, alongwith coastal districts of Bhola, Borguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirozpur, Jhalokathi, Bagherhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars.

Maritime port of Chattogram has been advised to keep hoisted great Danger signal no. 9 with coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars.

The maritime port of Cox’s Bazar has been advised to keep hoisted local Warning signal number 4.

The Met Office said it would take seven to eight hours for the storm to cross over the coastal areas while heavy rainfall with gusty winds will continue its effect over the country for the next 24-hour after the cyclone makes landfall.

Deputy Director of BMD Ayesha Khatun told the media: “The circumference of Bulbul will be around 400 km. It will cause heavy downpour and gusty winds while sweeping other the country.”

Under the influence of cyclone Bulbul and the moon phase, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Borguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalokathi, Bagherhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by storm surge of 5-7 feet height above normal tide.

To avert any kind of casualty, cautionary steps have been taken by suspending the movement of water vessels including ships and boats at Chattogram, Khulna and Mongla and Payra ports. Besides, a number of flights have been cancelled.

The Met Office has advised all fishing boats and trawlers in the north bay to remain in shelter till further notice.

The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief sources said they are evacuating some 18 lakh people along the coastal areas to 4,071 cyclone centres. So far some three lakh people had been evacuated till 12 pm on Saturday to avert human casualties.

“We have preparation to evacuate some 18 lakh people. So far we have report of evacuating some 3.5 lakh,” State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman told the media at his office yesterday.

He said different teams including the Army, Navy, the Coast Guard and volunteers are working.

The minister said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has instructed them to move all people of coastal regions to shelters within 18 hours before the storm strikes.

The ministry has sent some 2000 packets of dry food and taka five lakh in cash to each cyclone center, the minister said.

More than 8,000 fishermen took shelter at the cyclone centres in Dublar Char and Majher Kella areas in the Sundarbans of Bagerhat following rough weather caused by Cyclone ‘Bulbul’, Mahmudul Hasan, divisional forest officer (DFO) of East Sundarbans, confirmed it adding that many other fishermen took shelters in various creeks on small boats.

Flight operations at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram were cancelled for 14 hours yesterday because of Bulbul heading fast to Bangladesh coasts.

Public relations officer of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) AKM Rezaul Karim said, “The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) decided to suspend the flight operations at the airport from 4:00pm on today (Saturday) to 6:00am on Sunday as a precautionary measure.

“All flights to and from Cox’s Bazar, Chattogram, Barisal and Jashore have been cancelled owing to the inclement weather under the influence of Cyclone Bulbul,” he said.

Novoair and Regent Airways, two privately-owned domestic airlines in Bangladesh, informed that all flights of Dhaka, Jessore, Chittagong and Cox's Bazar, scheduled for departure yesterday afternoon and evening, was cancelled.

The activities of other airports in Dhaka, Barisal, Cox’s Bazar and Jashore will remain normal as usual, said AHN Towhid-ul Ahsan, director of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

Earlier on Friday night, all the launch services were suspended amid the impending severe cyclone.

On the other hand, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has formed some 1,577 medical teams at the coastal districts to provide emergency medical services, a press release said on Saturday.

Adequate stock of medicines and medical equipment has already been ensured in those districts, it said. Besides, the holidays of officials and employees of the health department have also been cancelled until further notice.

Bangladesh armed forces and Navy have also taken elaborate preparations to tackle the effects of cyclone Bulbul.

All the cantonments, bases, ships and helicopters of Bangladesh Armed Forces have been kept prepared to tackle the post disaster situation ahead of the approaching cyclone Bulbul, the Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) said on Saturday.

A 120-member army rescue team was deployed in Shyamnagar of Satkhira upon request from the district administration.

Bangladesh Navy, meanwhile, has prepared 5 ships with relief materials at Chattogram Port and Khulna Naval Base respectively to carry out rescue operation ahead of cyclone ‘Bulbul’.   

Under the influence of Bulbul, different parts of the country experienced light to moderate rainfall or drizzling since Friday.

OUR CORRESPONDENT, Patuakhali: the coastal district experienced heavy rain along with gusty winds since yesterday morning due to the cyclone Bulbul.

At least two fishing boats sank into the canals Khal Gora and Khajura areas of Kuakata. The identity of the missing seven fishermen could not be identified till filing the report.

However, the body of one fisherman Bellal Hossain Hossain was found floating on the Tamarisk garden area on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the tidal surge flooded several villages including Nayakata and Chowdhurypara as water washed away the embankment of Lalua Union of the Kalapara upazila. Thousands people have been rushing to shelters seeking safe shelter since Saturday afternoon.

At least 689 shelters in the district have been prepared. A total of 10 control rooms have been opened in the eight upazilas of the district, according to the office of the District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer.

Meanwhile, people of several other villages like Chitabunia, Bibir Hawla and Gorubhanga under the Chalitabunia union of Rangabali upazila were living in tense situation as the flood protection dam and the only cyclone shelter was damaged by the river erosion.

Kalapara UNO Md. Munibur Rahman said 66,520 people have already taken shelter in 153 shelter centers in the upazila.

Meanwhile, the ongoing Junior School Certificate (JSC) scheduled on November 11 will now be held on November 13. While the previously postponed JSC exam on November 9 will now be held

on November 12. However, the Junior Dakhil Certificate scheduled on November 11 will be held on November 16.

 

 

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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