Cyclonic storm 'Bulbul' likely to hit coastal dists today
5 to 7 feet high storm surge may hit low-lying areas: All water transports suspended: Danger Signal. 7 for Mongla, Payra ports, Chattogram- 6: Govt takes all-out preparation: Shelter centers kept ready: State Minister
Fishing boats and trawlers are being anchored near the coastal areas as the cyclonic storm "Bulbul" over the Bay heading towards Bangladesh. This photo was taken from Kalapara coast in Potuakhali on Friday.
Md Joynal Abedin Khan :
Cyclone Bulbul over the Bay of Bengal has gained strength and intensified into a 'very severe' cyclonic storm on Friday, triggering rain in several parts of the country, including coastal districts.
Cyclone 'Bulbul' to make landfall between West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts at anytime from Saturday evening to midnight, according to Bangladesh Meteorological Department.
"The tropical cyclonic storm 'Bulbul' is likely to hit Bangladesh coastal areas at any time on Saturday. But we cannot tell the exact time when it makes the landfall. If it does not change direction, it may hit in the evening," said Meteorologist Shanana Sultana of Meteorological Department.
She said that Bulbul was still 700 kilometres away from the Bangladesh coast and was advancing towards Bangladesh and India's West-Bengal.
"Bulbul" was over east-central bay and adjoining areas, moved north- northwestwards over the same area and was centred at 6 am about 760 km south- southwest of Chattogram Port, 710 km south-southwest of Cox's Bazar Port, 665 km south of Mongla
port and 650 km south of Payra Port," according to her.
Met officials said cyclonic storm 'Bulbul' is moving towards the Bangladeshi coast with a wind speed of up to 115 kilometres per hour.
The coastal areas will begin feeling the impacts of the cyclone in today's afternoon.
Five to seven feet high storm surge may hit the low-lying areas of the country's coastal belt under the influence of the very severe cyclonic storm "Bulbul" and the moon phase.
The low-lying areas of the coastal districts including Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakati, Bagherhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by storm surge of 5-7 feet height above normal astronomical tide, said Abdul Hamid, a Meteorologist of Bangladesh Meteorological Department on Friday evening.
According to the special weather bulletin of the Met office, the very severe cyclonic storm "Bulbul" over West-central Bay and adjoining east-central bay moved northwards, intensified further and now lies over northwest bay and the adjoining west-central bay.
It was centred at 6:00pm today around 620 km Southwest of Chattogram Port, 585 km southwest of Cox's Bazar Port, 495 km southwest of Mongla port and 490 km southwest of Payra port.
It is likely to intensify further and move towards north or northeasterly direction and may cross West Bengal-Khulna coast (near Sundarbans) by tomorrow evening.
Under its peripheral influence gusty or squally wind may affect the maritime ports, North Bay and coastal areas of Bangladesh from early tomorrow morning.
Maximum sustained wind speed within 74 kms of the very severe cyclone centre is about 120 kph rising to 140 kph in gusts or squalls. Sea will remain very high near the very severe cyclone centre.
Maritime ports of Mongla and Payra have been advised to lower local warning signal no four but instead hoist danger signal number seven.
Coastal districts of Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakati, Bagherhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore Islands and chars will come under danger signal number seven.
Maritime port of Cox's Bazar has been advised to keep hoisted local warning signal number four.
Besides, maritime port of Chattogram has been advised to lower local warning signal no four but instead hoist danger signal number six. Coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars will come under danger signal number six.
The Chattogram Port Authority has also halted cargo handling at the main port's outer anchorage due to bad weather caused by cyclonic storm Bulbul.
All fishing boats and trawlers over North Bay have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice.
Besides, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has suspended all water transport services and operations across the country for the cyclone 'Bulbul'.
State Minister for Relief and Disaster Management Enamur Rahman on Friday said that all shelter centres in seven coastal districts are kept ready to tackle cyclone 'Bulbul'.
The State Minister told reporters after a preparatory meeting held at the Secretariat on Friday afternoon.
"The cyclone is likely to hit the Southern and Western regions of the country at anytime from Saturday evening to midnight. It may cause a huge loss to the crops," he said.
A total of 56,000 volunteers are prepared to give assistance in upazilas and districts during the cyclone, said the State Minister, adding that people will be shifted to the shelter centres from their houses considering the overall situation.
At that same time, the government also canceled leave of officials and staff of 22 Ministries in upazila and district levels.
"The government agencies have taken all-out preparations to ensure that the levels of destruction to be kept to a minimum," said Enamur Rahman.