Fani weakens before hitting BD

Cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ was likely to lash the southwestern coast of the country Friday midnight after being weakened down to an ordinary cyclone. Powerful tidal waves triggered by the cyclonic storm started hitting the coastal belt since Friday afternoon, breaking down dams, blowing away trees and damaging houses. At least seven people were reportedly killed in pre-Fani storm in two districts -- Kishoreganj and Bagerhat.

On Friday noon, one woman, Shahanur Begum (35), wife of Mojahar from the same village, was killed at Choramonkati village at Khanpur Union in Bagerhat after a tree uprooted by gusty wind collapsed on him. In Kishoreganj, at least six people were killed in lightning strikes during storms. The deceased were identified as Sumon Mia, 8, Mohiuddin Ahmed, Asad Mia, 45, and Rubel Das, 26. Identity of the rest could not be known immediately.

Meanwhile, 12,40,795 people from 19 districts in the southern region have been evacuated by Friday noon, being shifted to camps on higher grounds, said Secretary to Disaster Management Ministry Md Shah Kamal at a press briefing at the Secretariat on Friday evening. “The Disaster Management and Relief Ministry has opened control rooms in 19 costal districts and some 56,000 volunteers have been kept ready,” he said, adding the volunteers passed the whole Friday taking people and their livestock from vulnerable areas to nearby cyclone shelter centers.

Meanwhile, around 17 thousand people were reportedly stranded in Dhal Char union of Bhola’s Charfashion as they could not be evacuated to any safer place although there is a cyclone risk. There is no cyclone shelter in the union. The people could not move to main land due to rough weather caused by the cyclonic storm.

Contacted, Mohammed Masud Alom Siddique, deputy commissioner (DC) of Bhola, said: “I am arranging to send two vehicles there for evacuating the residents to main land and also contacting with Bangladesh Naval force for their help to save the people of the char.” “Now our main concentration is to Dhal Char,” he added.

The skyline turned dark all across the country since Friday noon as the storm started approaching Bangladesh albeit witha weakened force after ravaging India’s North-Eastern Odisha coastlines around 10:00am Friday. Under the influence of the storm and the new moon phase, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalokathi, Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars were inundated by storm surge of 4-5 feet height above normal astronomical tide.

At least 28 villages were submerged in the coastal districts of Patuakhali and Bagerhat. According to our Patuakhali correspondent, eight villages in Lalua and two in Dhulashal unions were flooded due to the tidal surge of the Andarmanik river, said Tanvir Rahman, Kalapar upazila nirbahi officer. Around 950 people of the villages and 2,500 people of Mehendiganj village in Mirzaganj upazila were moved to the cyclone centres, our local correspondent said quoting him.

Moreover, around 8,500 people from Chalikabunia and Char Anda areas were taken to safer places on the day, said Tapan Kumar Ghosh, project implementation officer of Rangabali upazila. Around three hundred people from different villages of Barishal were evacuated to save their lives from the impact of the cyclone Fani, said SM Ajiur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Barishal, reports our correspondent.

Before lashing Bangladesh, the storm hit India’s North-Western Odisha state, submerging large areas and destroying hundreds of homesteads and other structures in the temple town of Puri and its adjacent places as heavy rain battered the coast, according NDTV report. Twitter Ads info and privacy Strong gusty winds were seen in parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal as well. The Odisha government prior to the landfall of the cyclone evacuated over 11 lakh people from the coastal areas to camps on higher grounds.

The impact of Fani’s Friday morning landfall in Odisha is likely to continue till today all across Bangladesh. Apart from the local administration, Ministries of Disaster Management and Relief and Shipping, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and disaster management agencies were kept stand-by till filling this report around 8:00pm Friday. Besides, Armed Forces Division, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and Fire Service and Civil Defence also opened control rooms, said sources.