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As-it-happened: Cyclone Mora weakens over Rangamati, danger signals lowered

  • Published at 09:58 am May 29th, 2017
  • Last updated at 12:09 am May 31st, 2017
4:00pm- BMD advises lowering the danger signal to 3 from 10. The office says Mora is gradually weakening as it passes over Rangamati. However, all boats are still advised to remain at port till 9pm Tuesday. 2:30pm- Meteorologist Arif Hossain tells the Dhaka Tribune two people have died from being crushed beneath uprooted trees in Rangamati. 2:10pm- Mahmudul Alam, weather forecast official at Patenga Met office in Chittagong, says the cyclonic storm crossed over Chittagong coast at midday. 2:05pm- Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Ali Hossain tells the Dhaka Tribune two people have died from being crushed beneath uprooted trees, while another has died from a heart attack. 1:10pm- Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) at a press briefing says the cyclone will head towards Tripura and other parts of northeast India 1:05pm- People in Bagerhat have started to return home. 12:58pm- Mohammad Nur of Cox's Bazar's Baganpara area tells the Dhaka Tribune around 20 people have been injured after trees were uprooted owing to strong winds. 12:40pm- Meteorologist Arif Hossain tells the Dhaka Tribune: "The storm is still crossing Chittagong at the speed of 128kmph. It will cross the coastal district within an hour.” 11:56am- "I am returning home and other people have also started leaving the shelter homes,” says Shomitipara resident Abdul Rahim. [caption id="attachment_66059" align="aligncenter" width="800"]People seen returning home from shelters on May 30, 2017 Mahadi Al Hasnat/DHAKA TRIBUNE People seen returning home from shelters on May 30, 2017 | Mahadi Al Hasnat/Dhaka Tribune[/caption] 11:36am- Kutubdiapara resident Basir Ahmed says: "70% of houses in Kutubdiapara and Shomitipara have been damaged in the storm." 11:05am- NGO activist Md Monsur Alam says: "Mora is crossing Kutubdia and Moheshkhali areas now." 10:30am- Chittagong district administration says there is sufficient food and water for the shelter seekers, with enough stockpiled to sustain many more. 10:00am- Meteorologist Rubayet Kabir tells the Dhaka Tribune: "The storm is likely to cross Bangladesh by 12pm.” [arve url="https://youtu.be/3mUAlSVbEOA"/]   9:30am- Cox’s Bazar district administration sources say at least 538 shelter homes are open for over 100,000 people evacuated from the coastal areas. Some 88 medical teams are formed to treat these people. 9:00am- Saint Martins Island UP Chairman Nur Ahmed said: "Around 70% of the houses have been damaged after the storm hit the area." 8:15am (Tuesday)- Several houses are damaged as the cyclonic storm Mora crossed Cox’s Bazar, confirms Meteorologist of Cox’s Bazar Met office AKM Nazmul Haque. "Wind speed is estimated at 130kmph in Saint Martins Island and 150kmph Cox’s Bazar port after it hit the area in between 6am and 7am." 10:50pm- Assistant Commissioner and Executive Magistrate of Chittagong district administration Hasan-bin-Muhammad Ali tells the Dhaka Tribune: "As a measure of precaution, we have already moved more than 75,000 people to the shelter homes in seven coastal upazilas of Chittagong district." 10:00pm- The Met office advises to hoist Great Danger Signal No 10 at coastal areas including Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Feni and Chandpur as Cyclone Mora is heading towards Bangladesh’s coasts. 8:00pm-Danger Signal No 8 is issued for the districts of Bhola, Borguna, Patuakhali, Barisal, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Bagherhat, Khulna, Satkhira and the two coastal ports in Mongla and Payra. 7:00pm (Monday)- Mora is centred at around 385km south of Chittagong port and 305km south of Cox's Bazar port, says a report published on the website of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department. [arve url="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2U3ygHCS0seaVJtVUVjZEowU1U/preview"/]
Also Read- Chittagong airport to remain closed for 8 hours on Tuesday
Great Danger Signal No 10 is also hoisted in six coastal districts – Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Feni and Chandpur as well as the off-shore islands located in these districts. [arve url="https://www.facebook.com/news.lodge.125/videos/618165111716185/"/]
Also Read- How are tropical cyclones named?

Thousands take refuge in Cox's Bazar

Cox’s Bazar district administration organised a number of meetings to raise awareness among people. The administration has set up a large number of activities to mitigate the cyclone’s impact. Cyclone-Mora-Disaster-Management-Cox Executive Magistrate Saiful Islam is coordinating overall activities from a control centre in Cox’s Bazar. Although public announcements have been made throughout the day, people only began showing up at the storm shelters in the evening after repeated requests to evacuate. As of 9pm Monday, about 50,000 people took shelter at the hundreds of storm shelters, according to the district administration. Many people arrived with their livestock to protect them from the ravage of the storm. The district administration says there is sufficient food and water for the shelter seekers, with enough stockpiled to sustain many more.

Chittagong port activities on hold

Meanwhile, the Chittagong Port Authority has issued Alert No 3 at the port area, and vessels are being sent away to outer anchorage from the Chittagong port jetties to avoid any casualties during the cyclone. Heavy rainfall is being reported in Chittagong. Deputy Commissioner Zillur Rahman Chowdhury said about 30,000 people have taken up refuge at the hundreds of storm shelters near the coast. Md Omar Faruk, secretary of Chittagong Port Authority, told the Dhaka Tribune: “We have taken the safety measure so the vessels cannot hit the jetties and cause damage when Mora strikes.” An emergency meeting was held in the morning regarding the preparations for the possible impact of the cyclone, Faruk said, adding that they have taken all necessary measures in this regard. Due to the increasing intensity of the cyclone, all loading and unloading activities at Chittagong marine port has been suspended for the time being. Chittagong Port Authority announced the decision after a meeting Monday afternoon. In another meeting, separate control rooms were set up in the city by the civil surgeon and the district administration to coordinate the cyclone preparedness programme. 6,660 volunteers and 284 medical teams are on alert throughout Chittagong to aid in relief efforts and help evacuate people. A total of 479 storm shelters in the district have been made open to the public.
Also Read- Cyclone heading towards the coast on Monday
Another emergency meeting of the Disaster Management Committee was held with Chittagong Deputy Commissioner Zillur Rahman Chowdhury in the chair. In the meeting, the deputy commissioner said a total of 479 cyclone shelters with the capacity to accommodate 445,880 people had been prepared. The district administration and civil surgeon have already opened two control rooms as part of the preparation to face the cyclone. [caption id="attachment_65947" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Forecast of Cyclone Mora Weather Forecast of Cyclone Mora[/caption] Civil Surgeon Azizur Rahman Siddique informed that 284 medical teams had been formed for emergency. “Each team consists of one doctor and three members. The teams are on high alert. Their leaves have also been cancelled. We also have our medical stock ready” he added. District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer Abul Kalam Azad said they had 342 tonnes of rice and Tk672,000 cash ready. The allocation can be increased if required, he added.
Also Read- Water transport services on all routes suspended

Navy ships drop anchor in Bagerhat for safety

Bagerhat Deputy Commissioner Tapan Kumar Bishwas said a control room has been set up in every upazila to coordinate rescue and relief efforts. Government employees are on high alert to assist any and all victims of the cyclone. Locals have been asked to evacuate to safe locations, especially storm shelters. From Chittagong, 10 warships of the Bangladesh Navy have made their way to Mongla port to take refuge from the storm. Two more ships from the Coast Guard’s fleet will join them on Tuesday morning.

Bhola opens seven control rooms to coordinate efforts

Deputy Commissioner Selim Uddin said seven control rooms have been opened to coordinate disaster mitigation and evacuation efforts. The district administration has stocked storm shelters with food and medicine and prepared rescue teams for immediate action. A BIWTA spokesperson in Bhola said a suspension on all inland naval transports has been in effect since Monday noon.

Satkhira on alert

People living in the coastal upazilas of Shyamnagar and Ashashuni have been alerted to swiftly respond to the cyclone. In Shyamnagar, 2000 volunteers are on aid detail while 1,300 more are on alert in Ashashuni. Government employees in the two upazilas have been asked to return to their offices after their leaves were cancelled. The deputy commissioner is working with the Red Crescent to coordinate rescue and relief efforts if conditions deteriorate.

Lakshmipur prepares for Mora

Deputy Commissioner Homaira Begum presided over a meeting Monday morning with various arms of the government, Red Crescent, and other NGOs to prepare for the cyclone’s impact. Disaster mitigation plans were drawn up and revised with contingency plans in tow. Additional reporting by Anwar Hussain, Chittagong, Abdul Aziz, Cox's Bazar, SM Samsur Rahman, Bagerhat, Saiful Islam Swapan, Lakshmipur Asaduzzaman, Satkhira, MA Ahad Chowdhury Tuhin, Bhola.
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