Bangladesh launches evacuation campaign amid advancing cyclone
Bangladesh today launched a massive evacuation campaign along its southern coastline mobilising rescue teams covering 14 coastal districts as cyclone 'Roanu' advanced to the country's coast, Press Trust of India reported.
The Met office issued a warning of 7 on a scale of 10 for three of the four main seaports.
"Evacuations have already been launched in the coastline as efforts are underway to move to safety nearly 2,000,000 people in 14 most vulnerable coastal districts," disaster management secretary Mohammad Shah Kamal said.
Kamal said an inter-ministerial meeting the government scrapped Friday and Saturday's weekend holidays for public employees in 18 coastal districts while "50,000 volunteers trained under the Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) and all Red Crescent volunteers and boy scouts are prepared to join the campaign".
His comments came as the Met office this evening issued warning-7 for three of the four seaports that cover 14 of the 18 costal districts as the cyclone 'Roanu' advanced closer to the coastlines, saying it was likely to gather more intensity in the coming hours.
"It was centred at 06:00 pm today about 860 kms southwest of Chittagong Port, 840 kms southwest of Cox's Bazar port, 675 kms southwest of Mongla Port and 705 kms southwest of Payra Port," the met office said in its latest bulletin issued in the evening.
The country's southeastern main port of Chittagong, meanwhile, internally issued a 'red alert' ordering ships to immediately leave the port and anchor in the outer anchorage for the safety of the facility which earlier stopped its cargo handling due to inclement weather.
Ferry services in the internal riverine networks in the southwestern routes were also stopped.
In Chittagong, the district administration officials said they evacuated 31,000 people and housed them in 239 shelters.
Bangladesh is vulnerable to cyclones because of its location at the triangular-shaped head of the Bay of Bengal, the sea-level geography of its coastal area and its high population density as two deadly cyclones occurred in 1970 and 1991 killing thousands of people.