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‘Remal’ pounds coastal belt

One dies, low-lying areas inundated

Published : 26 May 2024 11:21 PM

Severe cyclonic storm Remal made a landfall on Sunday after hitting the coast of Bangladesh and parts of West Bengal in India, leaving a trail of destruction.

Bangladesh Meteorological Department said that the eye of the cyclone started crossing the south-west part of Mongla coast to West Bengal. 

“The centre of the cyclone may move to the north and cross the coast within one or two hours,” BMD deputy director Shamim Ahsan told a news briefing at 8:15 pm.

“The eye of the cyclonic storm entered the Sundarbans of Khulna coast in the evening. As a result, coastal areas are witnessing heavy rainfall,” he added.  

The cyclonic storm is scheduled to cross Bangladesh between 12:00 am and 1:00 am after which the cyclone is expected to be weakened.

Earlier, India Meteorological Department forecast that the cyclone would make its landfall with a wind speed of 110-120 kilometres gusting to 135 kilometres per hour.

Coastal districts experienced heavy rainfall due to the influence of the storm while sea remained rough with eight to twelve feet tidal surge.

A youth, named Shariful Islam, was swept away in a tidal surge at Kawar Char in Kalapara upazila of Patuakhali district while trying to save his mother-in-law and sister from the storm around 1:00 pm. Kawar Char went under five to seven feet of water due to tidal surge.

Some 27 villages in Amtali and Taltoli upazilas of Borguna district were inundated by tidal surge after a 300-feet portion of an embankment collapsed at Amtali. 

Rivers flowing through the coastal districts also swelled and tidal surge inundated low-lying areas following embankment collapse. Highland in the Sundarbans was already submerged by tidal surge. 

Karamjal Wildlife Breeding Centre acting officer Hawlader Azad Kabir told reporters that vast areas in the Sundarbans were submerged by tidal surge. 

But there was no report of casualty of wildlife, he said. 

Bangladesh government took comprehensive measures to save people’s lives and their properties from the cyclone. Apart from hoisting great danger signal number 10 for Payra and Mogla ports, some 9,000 shelter houses were ready so that people of the coastal areas could take shelter during the storm.

Earlier, over eight lakh people were evacuated to cyclone centres and other safer places.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Mohibur Rahman said that they took all necessary measures on an urgent basis to save lives and properties from the severe cyclonic storm. 

“All relevant organisations have been asked to work in a coordinated manner to face the cyclone,” he said at a press briefing.

He said the authorities concerned launched an intensified evacuation campaign to take all vulnerable people of 19 districts to safe places as Met Office asked Payra and Mongla ports to hoist great danger signal no 10 while it issued danger signal 9 for Cox's Bazar and Chattogram ports.

Under the peripheral effect of the severe cyclone, the coastal regions of Bangladesh experienced rain with gusty wind.

The coastal districts of Khulna, Satkhira, Bagherhat, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Borguna, Barishal, Bhola, Patuakhali and their offshore islands and chars came under great danger signal no 10.

Great signal no 9 was issued for the coastal districts of Chattogram, Cox's Bazar, Feni, Cumilla, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars.

Under the peripheral effect of the severe cyclone and steep pressure gradient, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Khulna, Satkhira, Bagherhat, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Borguna, Barishal, Bhola, Patuakhali, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Cumilla, Chattogram, Cox's Bazar and their offshore islands and chars were inundated by wind-driven surge of 8-12 feet height above normal astronomical tide.