POST TIME: 12 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Titli weakens after hitting Odisha, Andhra coasts
May sprinkle rain in Bangladesh today
Special Correspondent

Titli weakens after hitting Odisha, Andhra coasts

Cyclone Titli began dissipating after making landfall in the coastal Indian states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, with its potent force reaching 150km per hour, early yesterday (Thursday), causing havoc there. It may now become either a well-marked low or land depression that may sprinkle rain in Bangladesh today (Friday).  The rain would range from moderate to heavy at places across the country, Ruhul Kuddus, a meteorologist, told The Independent. The government, however, was prepared to tackle the fall-out of Titli. Addressing a press conference at the PID here in the morning, disaster management and relief minister Mofazzal Hossen Chowdhury Maya said the government got the cyclone forecast message a few days ago and started taking steps since then.

“The field administrationm along with the Fire Service and Civil Defence, Ansar-VDP, scouts and 56,000 volunteers under the Cyclone Preparedness Programme have been kept ready to tackle any consequence of the storm,” the minister said. Earlier, an emergency meeting of the Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) Implementation Board was held as per the government’s standing orders on disaster on October 10.

Disaster management and relief secretary M Shah Kamal, Fire Service and Civil Defence Department director general Brig. Gen. Ali Ahmad Khan, Armed Forces Division director general Brig. Gen. Ejazul Bari, Meteorology Department director general Shamsuddin Ahmed and CPP director Ahmadul Haq, among others, were present. The government has cancelled the weekly leave of all government officials and employees at 19 costal districts, said the minster.

Instructions have been given to open control rooms at upazila and district levels. Officials have been asked to communicate with the control rooms opened by the Disaster Management and Relief and the National Disaster Response Coordination Centre (NDRCC). The government has alerted the administrations of all districts and upazilas in the coastal region.

“Adequate relief materials have been stockpiled in these districts and round-the-clock communication has been established with district and upazila level officials,” the minister said. As part of the early steps, the minister said instructions have been given to the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Fire Service, civil defence and Ansar-VDP to make preparations if the situation deteriorates. As the cyclone began weakening, the local cautionary signal No.4 for the maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra was downgraded to No.3. But steep pressure gradient was prevailing over the Bay.The inland river ports will remain under riverine signal No.2.  

Fishing boats and trawlers have  been asked to stay close to the coast and not venture out into the deep sea until further notce. As a precautionary measure, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has retained its warning No. 2 for the inland ports in Dhaka, Barishal, Patuakhali, Comilla and Chattogram. The rest of the ports will show signal No. 1.

As Titli started its journey whirling over the Bay towards the south-eastern Indian coastline for landfall, it left the weather in Bangladesh cloudy, with light to moderate rainfall at different places. This cooled the temperature overnight and during the day.

The country’s highest maximum rainfall of 77mm till 6am was reported from southern coastal Khepupara. The next was the southwestern coastal town of Satkhira, recording 52mm. On the contrary, Dhaka in the central region had only 1mm of rainfall, recorded by the Met Office rain-gauge at Agargaon till 6am yesterday.

As the sky remained heavily overcast, the day’s maximum temperature of 29..5 degrees Celsius was recorded at rain-soaked Khepupara. Dhaka had a maximum of 27.2C, attributed to the light rain. River transport services resume

River transport services, including launch services, on different routes of the country resumed yesterday as cyclone Titli weakened after crossing the Odisha coast of India. The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) decided to resume the services at 2pm following improvement of the weather,  said BIWTA public relations officer, Mobarak Hossain Majumder. On Wednesday, the BIWTA suspended water transport services on all inland routes because of the inclement weather caused by the cyclonic storm.