Preparations taken to face impending cyclone; ‘Bulbul’ likely to cross Khulna coast this evening


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said the government has taken all-out preparations to tackle the approaching severe cyclone ‘Bulbul’.“To face this cyclone and protect people, we’ve taken all-out preparations,” she said.

The Prime Minister said this while addressing the 13th council of Jatiya Sramik League at historic Suhrawardy Udyan.

She also said the government has taken preparations so that it could conduct relief operations right after the cyclone.

Hasina urged people to pray to the Almighty so that the cyclone cannot cause huge devastations.

Earlier, Bangladesh raised the storm danger signal  Saturday noon as cyclone ‘Bulbul’ intensified further and may cross West Bengal-Khulna coast(near the Sundarbans)  by Saturday evening.

Low-lying areas of the coastal districts are “likely to be inundated by storm surge of 5-7 feet height above normal astronomical tide” because of the fast-approaching cyclone.

“Maritime ports of Mongla and Payra have been advised to lower danger signal number 7 but instead hoist great danger signal number 10,” the Met Office said in a special bulletin.

“Coastal districts of Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Bagherhat, Khulna, and Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars will come under great danger signal number 10,” it said.

The maritime port of Chattogram was “advised to lower danger signal number 6 but instead hoist great danger signal number 9”. On the other hand, the maritime port of Cox’s Bazar was advised to keep hoisted local warning signal number 4.

Coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars will come under great danger signal No 9.

At 12pm, cyclone ‘Bulbul’ was about 280kmsouthwest of Mongla port, 315km southwest of Payra port, 475km southwest of Chattogram port, and 470km southwest of Cox’s Bazar port.

The Maximum sustained wind speed within 74kms of the very severe cyclone centre is about 130kph, rising to 150kph. It may cross West Bengal-Khulna coast near the Sundarbans by the evening, the Met Office said.

Khulna, Satkhira, Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Bhola, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, and Bagerhat are likely to experience wind speed up to 120kph with heavy to very heavy rainfall during the passage of the storm.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman on Friday said the government has taken adequate measures to face ‘Bulbul’. Cyclone shelters have been opened in the coastal regions and holidays of government staff in 13 coastal districts have been cancelled.

Launch services were suspended on Friday night.

Meanwhile, the Navy said it has kept five ships ready at Khulna BNS Titumir for emergency relief and rescue operations in Khulna, Barishal, Patuakhali, Jhalakathi, and Barguna.