Staff Correspondent ;
Dhaka – Bangladesh has evacuated more than 1 million residents as a powerful cyclone neared its south-western coast, officials said on Wednesday.
Amphan, a tropical storm turned into super cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, is likely to cross the coast of Bangladesh and India. Media reports say India also have taken more than 300,000 people to safety from coastal districts of West Bengal state.
The potential path of the cyclone is reported to be through Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, according to zoom live cyclone monitoring application.
Bangladeshi state minister for disaster management Enamur Rahman said volunteers helped people to go to the cyclone shelters. As of Tuesday night, he said, more than 1. 1 million people reached at those shelters.
The government opened 12,000 centers in 19 coastal districts to shelter the people exposed to the cyclone.
Bangladesh on Wednesday issued the highest “danger signal” for two maritime ports in south-western coastline amid the massive evacuation campaign.
Dhaka Met office issued the warning in a special bulletin. The bulletin said coastal district of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagherhat, Jhalokathi, Pirozpur, Borguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Barishal, Laxmipur, Chandpur and their offshore islands would come under great danger signal number 10.
The met office said the cyclone was it is likely to move in a north- northeasterly direction and may cross west Bengal-Bangladesh coast near the Sundarbans during afternoon/evening 20 may 2020.
The wind speed was still packing up to 220 kilometers within its center, the met office said adding that the sea would remain rough and many places in the coast district may experience water surge of nearly 3 meters above normal tide.
Maritime ports of Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar, which are believed to be less affected, have also been advised to keep hoisted danger signal number six.
Indian met office said Amphan remained as an extremely severe cyclonic storm over northwest Bay of Bengal.
Officials in both Bangladesh and India say they were trying to follow social distancing measures in place for the COVID-19 crisis while relocating millions of people to makeshift cyclone shelters.
Bangladesh authorities earlier set a target of evacuating over two million to safety readying 12,078 cyclone shelters but officials said over three lakh people could be move to safety overnight.