Over 1500 tourists stranded in Saint Martin’s Island

Due to severe cyclonic storm ‘Bulbul’ that developed over the Bay, more than 1500 tourists are stranded on Saint Martin’s Island. This occurred when the authorities, assuming the unprecedented losses or risks in sailing in the rough weather, suspended all vessel movement on the Teknaf-St Martin's route.

According to several tourists still in the island it was learned that they could not return to Teknaf as the ships, running between the Island and Teknaf, the southernmost point of Bangladesh in Cox’s Bazar, have been ordered to suspend their operation due to rough weather from Friday.

Sources said, Cox's Bazar Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Mohammad Ashraful Afsar issued the ban on vessel movement between Teknaf to the coral Island, as the cautionary signal have been raised. However, the local administration is looking into how the tourists can stay safely at the island's residential hotels.

Due to the cyclonic storm heading towards Bangladesh coast the sea is now increasingly becoming rough to rougher, fishermen returning from deep sea said. Meanwhile, Cox’s Bazar Metrological Department asked all to hoist cautionary signal number four. Bangladesh Metrological Department (BMD) said on Thursday, the cyclone may hit the country’s southwest coast of Sundarbans and Khulna regions on Saturday.

Shahana Sultana, a meteorologist of BMD said they cannot say the exact time when cyclone Bulbul will hit the Bangladesh coast but it is estimated that it may hit the coast by Saturday or even later on Sunday. “If the cyclonic storm does not change its direction, it may hit the Bangladesh coast anytime on Saturday,” she added.

Cox’s Bazar district administrator Md. Kamal Hossain told media that, “We have all sorts of preparations to counter the effects of the cyclone Bulbul. All are informed to stay alert to face any situation. Based on the weather development, the stranded tourists will be brought back safely to the mainland.”