Cyclone ‘Bulbul’ crosses coastal belt with little destruction
People of the vast coastal belt heaved a sigh of relief as severe cyclonic storm 'Bulbul' formed in the Bay of Bengal, crossed the country's south western district with wrecking little destruction early Sunday.
The Sundarbans has protected the coastal districts of Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Bagherhat, Khulna, and Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars from the wrath of the tropical cyclone.
The mangrove forest has acted as a buffer to save coastlines of the country. Otherwise costal districts would have been severely affected by the cyclone 'Bulbul'.
Although authorities including the district administrations remained cautious and took necessary preparations to face the calamity, the situation became normal on Sunday noon as the storm has moved to south western wards, lessening risk of hard-hitting the coastal areas.
The operational activities of Mongla Sea Port were suspended after the announcement of No.10 danger signal since Friday evening. The port activities have been resumed from Monday.
Khulna, Bagerhat and other adjacent districts of the Sundarbans have experienced heavy rainfall with squally winds under the influence of 'Bulbul' for the last two days.
Many houses were destroyed as the tidal waves leaping up to 4-5 foot high rolled onto the coastal districts. The waves damaged river and flood-control embankments and dykes, submerging many villages in Khulna, Satkhira and Bagerhat.
According to local sources, a large number of domestic animals, standing crops on farmland, and shrimp enclosures were lost in the surge, they added.
Besides, Moderate to heavy downpour is continuing intermittently, paralyzing life of the people in the coastal districts.
Hundreds of families became homeless at Koyra and Dacope upazilas in Khulna and Sharonkhola Upazila in Bagerhat as their houses were damaged by the strike of Bulbul. Power supply to these affected areas was also snapped for several hours.
Ministry for Disaster Management confirmed eight deaths in six districts after the predawn landfall of the storm in Bangladesh coasts after more than 20 lakh people were forced to take refuge in makeshift shelters overnight.
Among the victims, two were killed in Khulna, two in Bagerhat, one in Pirojpur, one Barishal, one in Patuakhali and one in Bagerhat.
As the cyclone has turned into a depression, it continues weakening for causing heavy downpour. The deep depression over Bagerhat, Barishal and Patuakhali regions moved slightly east-northeastwards and lies over Barishal, Patuakhali and Bhola regions at 3pm on Monday, a weather bulletin of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) said. It is likely to move in a northeasterly direction further and weaken gradually by giving precipitation. Maritime ports of Chattogram, Cox's Bazar, Mongla, and Payra have been advised to keep hoisted local cautionary signal number three.
Under the influence of the deep depression, Khulna, Satkhira, Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Borguna, Patuakhali, Barisal, Bhola, Pirozpur, Jhalokathi, Bagerhat, Faridpur, Madaripur and Cumilla are likely to experience wind of 50-60 kph in gusts/squalls with heavy to very heavy falls during the passage of the depression.
All fishing boats and trawlers over North Bay have been advised to remain in shelter till Tuesday morning, the bulletin added.
The wind velocity of the cyclone varies in different coastal districts during its crossing.
Our Patuakhali correspondent adds: A man was killed after a tree fell onto his house in Mirzaganj Upazila after cyclone 'Bulbul' hit the district early Sunday.
The deceased was identified as Hameed Fakir, 65, a resident of Uttar Rampura Village.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Sarwar Hossain said the incident took place in Uttar Rampura Village under the upazila at about 3:30am.
Our Khulna correspondent adds: The severe cyclonic storm 'Bulbul' damaged a total of 9,455 homesteads while 37,820 were partially affected in nine upazilas in the district, said the officials of District Relief and Disaster Management Office.
Khulna District Administration, Mongla Port Authority, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG) of Mongla West Zone, Fire Service and Civil Defence are now working to rehabilitate the affected people of coastal area.
Deputy Commissioner Md Helal Hossain said, "As part of the immediate response for the first time in the district history, more than 2.97 lakh people were successfully evacuated and moved to 349 cyclone shelters in the coastal district as 'Bulbul' hit the region."
Officer of District Relief and Management Md Azizul Haque Zoadder said 'Bulbul' caused a little loss to lives and properties as the district administration took appropriate precautionary measures to fight against the disaster on time.
About 2, 97,500 people from the coastal areas were taken to the cyclone shelter houses before the storm hit the district on Saturday, he added.
The storm 'Bulbul', however, claimed two lives and injured some people in the coastal area, he said, adding that, one died in Dacope and another in Dighalia upazilas of the district.
The deceased were identified as Promila Mondal, 52, wife of Subash Mondal in Dacope and Md Alamgir, 35, son of Sharifuddin of Katanipara in Dighalia upazila of the district.
However, about 1.60 lakh metric tonnes of rice, Taka 8 lakh in cash, and 1,900 packets of dry food were distributed in Koyra, Dacope, Paikgachha, Batiaghata and Rupsa upazilas so far.
Around 3,560 volunteers including 10 thousands members of Red Crescent Society and 116 medical teams with health workers are working in the cyclone affected upazilas in this connection.
Separate teams of Bangladesh Navy, Coast Guard and Fire service and Civil Defence of the district are also active in joint rehabilitation activities there, and distributed huge relief at the coastal upazilas. Our Bagerhat correspondent adds: A baby girl, who was born at the cyclone shelter in Mithakhali Village in Mongla Upazila of Bagerhat on Saturday night, has been named 'Bulbuli'.
The parents of the newborn baby named their child keeping similarity with cyclone 'Bulbul' as it was born on the night of the severe storm. Hanufa Begum gave birth to the baby girl at ATC Government Primary School which was turned cyclone shelter for providing shelter to the people of the coastal area.
Mongla Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Rahat Mannan said Hanufa Begum, wife of Bayzid Sikdar of Mithakhali Village, gave birth to the baby safely with the help of a midwife of Upazila Family Planning Office. The condition of the mother and the baby is well now, he said.
Severe cyclonic storm 'Bulbul' completed crossing the West Bengal-Khulna coast near the Sundarbans around 5am on Sunday. Around 764,000 people were evacuated from seven coastal districts to shelter centres on Saturday. The districts are Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira, Barishal, Pirojpur, Barguna and Bhola.