Fani wrath claims 4 lives in Bangladesh: Disaster management ministry

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Dhaka, May 04: Fani, dubbed to the deadliest cyclone in the region in decades, today kept the mark of its wrath claiming at least four lives and injured over 60 others as it lashed across the country after ravaging the eastern Indian coastlines.Disaster management ministry in a news briefing on Saturday afternoon confirmed the four deaths from three coastal districts adding at least 63 people were wounded as the storm swept through parts of Bangladesh, BSS reports.

“Four people were killed as Fani hit Bangladesh – of them two died in Barguna, one in Bhola and one in Noakhali,” disaster management ministry’s senior secretary Shah Kamal told the briefing.

Food minister Shadhan Chandra Majumder and state minister for disaster management Dr Enamur Rahman also joined the meeting along with concerned officials of different ministries and organizations at the disaster management ministry’s conference room at Bangladesh Secretariat.

Rahman, however, said the ministry was yet to compile the details of the casualties and damages caused the cyclone.

“The detailed information from all the affected districts is yet to reach us, give us 24 more hours we will let you know the details gathering the information,” he said.

The severe cyclonic storm, which entered Bangladesh through the southwestern region earlier this morning, also wounded several people though it weakened strength while barreling to Bangladesh overland.

Over 1.5 million were evacuated overnight from their homes to take makeshift refuge at cyclone shelters and other safer places while Kamal urged them to prepare for returning home.

Cabinet secretary Shafiul Alam, Prime Minister’s principal secretary Nojibur Rahman, member of the parliamentary standing committee on disaster management Captain (retd) AB Tazul Islam MP, information secretary Abdul Maleque, health secretary M Asadul Islam, principal information officer (PIO) Zainal Abedin, among others, attended the press briefing.

Met office meanwhile said the cyclone danger was now over but the inland water transport authorities, however, kept enforced its order suspending movement of launches and ferries in view of adverse weather.

The state-run Biman and most private airlines stopped their flights on domestic and Kolkata routes.

Airlines officials said they cancelled 10 flights since morning andrescheduled several others though the civil aviation authorities kept operative all the airports for flight operations with extra cautions.

Meteorologists earlier today said the storm swept over the country in the form of a “land depression” with a maximum wind speed of 40-50, rising to 60 kph in gusts.

In Barguna, Nur Jahan, 50, and her grandson Zahidul Islam, 8, died after a tree fell on their home when they were asleep around 3:00 am due to the effect of approaching Fani at Charduani village in Patharghata of Barguna, police said.

Upazila administration said one Rani Begum, 50, wife of Shamsul Haq died as a house collapsed and fell on her in Balia Koralia village Bhola Sadar upazila in the early hours of today.

A two-year boy Ismail, son of one Abdur Rahman, was killed while a house collapsed at char Aminul Haq village in Noakahli last night.