Politics

Govt. orders optimum preparedness ahead of cyclone landfall

DHAKA, The government today ordered maximum

preparedness as meteorologists predicted cyclone Fani's landfall by Friday

evening issuing danger signals particularly for two ports along its

southwestern coastlines and kept the armed forces ready for disaster

operations.

Directives have been issued asking the administrations of 19 districts

in the coastlines to start evacuating people to safe shelters from 10 am,

disaster management ministry's senior secretary Shah Kamal told a news

briefing, joined as well by state minister for disaster management ministry

Dr Enamur Rahman.

He said over 4,000 cyclone shelters along the coastlines were kept open

for the people to take makeshift refuge while the local authorities took

their possession of the keys of safe installations like schools to be used as

shelters if required.

The state minister urged people to keep them updated following the TV

and radio channels and if required call the helpline dialing 1090.

We have taken very good preparations . . . hope the casualty will be

'zero', the minister told the briefing joined by Prime Minister's principal

secretary Nazibur Rahman and senior officials of health and other concerned

ministries.

The briefing was told that people would be provided dry food and fresh

water once they reach the shelters while the district administrations by now

were equipped with necessary medicines and other relief materials during the

post disaster phase as well.

Met office director Shamsuddin Ahmed told newsmen at the ministry

conference room that they feared the cyclone to cause four to five feet high

tidal surges and hit the coastlines with an wind speed of 100 to 120

kilometre per hour despite exhausting its maximum wraths in the India's

Odisha state.

The briefing came as met office earlier in the afternoon heightened the

warnings for the three seaports across the coastlines with the highest danger

signal no. 7 for Mongla and Payra and 6 for Chattogram in a scale of 10.

Army chief general Aziz Ahmed earlier said the entire troops were

readied for cyclone and post cyclone rescue operations joining hands with

other government and non-government agencies like the Fire Service and Red

Crescent.

Reports from the coastlines said volunteers and the local officials

began to call for evacuation using megaphones while people were preparing

themselves to evacuate their homes to take makeshift refuge in nearby

shelters.

Authorities today ordered a halt of movement of boats and vessels even

in internal routes as meteorologists described Fani to be the strongest

tropical cyclone in nearly five years in the region as it was barreling

towards 100 million people on India's east coast, causing officials to begin

emergency evacuations.

Meteorologists classified Fani as an extremely severe cyclonic storm

in India.

Fani, which is still about over 200 kilometers off the Indian coastline

strengthened rapidly on Monday and Tuesday, becoming the strongest storm to

move through the Bay of Bengal this early in the year since Tropical Cyclone

Nargis in 2008.

Nargis hit Myanmar with winds over 200 kph (124 mph), bringing a

devastating storm surge and flooding rainfall that resulted in more than

100,000 deaths in the country.

Fani too is expected to bring large storm surges and significant wind

damage near the landfall location inundating a vast landmass particularly in

India.

Weather experts said parts of eastern India and Bangladesh could expect

150 to 300 mm (6 to 12 inches) of rain with locally higher amounts regardless

of the intensity.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)