‘Fani’ likely to hit country’s southwestern part by midnight

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Staff Reporter:

The very severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ over Northwest Bay and adjoining Westcentral Bay moved slightly north-northwards, started crossing Odisa coast of India and located over coastal Odisha and adjoining northwest bay.

It is likely to move in a North-Northeasterly direction further, complete crossing Odisha coast of India by afternoon and then move-Northwestwards over Odisha-West Bengal coastal area and likely to hit Khulna and adjoining southwestern part of Bangladesh by Friday midnight.

It was centered 545 km southwest of Mongla port and 580 km southwest of Payra port at 9am, according to a Met office bulletin on Friday.

Khulna and adjoining southwestern coastal areas of Bangladesh have been experiencing the peripheral effect of ‘Fani’ from Friday morning, the Met Office says, advising Mongla and Payra ports to display danger signal number seven.

Meanwhile, Cyclone Fani, the strongest storm in India in two decades, hit Odisha this morning and has started making its impact felt. Large areas in the temple town of Puri and other places were submerged as heavy rain battered the coast, according to Indian media report.

Strong winds were seen in parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal as well. The impact of the landfall is likely to continue till around 11 am and after that, the cyclone is expected to move north-westwards and gradually weaken as it reaches Bengal by early tomorrow morning. The Odisha government has evacuated over 11 lakh people from the coastal areas to camps on higher grounds.

The cyclonic storm was centred at 9 am on Friday 730 km west-southwest of Cox’s Bazar port  and 740 km west-southwest of Chattogram port.

Maximum sustained wind speed within 74 kms of the storm centre is about 180 kph rising to 200 kph in gusts/squalls. Sea will remain very high near the cyclone centre.

The maritime ports of Mongla and Payra have been advised to keep hoisted danger signal No 7.

Coastal districts of Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakati, Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars will come under danger signal No 7.

The maritime port of Chattogram has been advised to keep hoisted danger signal No 6.

This danger signal is also effective for the coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars will come under danger signal no six.

Meanwhile, the maritime port of Cox’s Bazar has been advised to keep hoisted local warning signal No 4.

Under the influence of the very severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ and the new moon phase, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Bhola,Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakati, Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands are likely to be inundated by 4-5 feet high storm surge above the normal astronomical tide.

The coastal districts and their offshore islands and char areas are likely to experience wind speed up to 80-100 kmp in gusts/squalls with heavy to very heavy falls during the passage of the storm.

All the fishing boats and trawlers over the North Bay and deep sea have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Thursday said the government has been taking preparations to minimise the losses if severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ hits the country.

The government has taken all the necessary preparations to face the situation if the cyclone hits Bangladesh coastal areas, said State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief DrEnamurRahman on Thursday.

All concerned have been directed to operate control rooms round the clock, evacuate people and take them to shelter centres immediately after issuance of ‘very danger’ signal (signal No 8), EnamurRahman said.

Meanwhile, 4,071 cyclone centres in 19 coastal districtshave been kept ready where solar system is available, the state minister said.

Besides, the National Disaster Response Coordination Centre (NDRRC) is providing updates. Control rooms have already been opened in Cyclone Preparedness Programme(CPP) headquarters and 19 coastal districts.

Two thousand packets of dry food, 200 tonnes of rice and cash amounting to Tk 5 lakh have been sent to the districts, he said.unb

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