4,071 centres in 19 risky districts have been prepared to shelter around 2,200,000 people
State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief, Dr Enamur Rahman, has said 1,240,795 people from the coastal regions have been evacuated and taken to cyclone shelters before the severe Cyclone Fani hits.
"We started evacuating people at 10am on Friday," the state minister said at a press conference held at the Food Ministry on Friday. "Until 6pm, 1,240,795 have been taken to cyclone shelters. We are hopeful we will be able to move everyone into the cyclone shelters."
The 4,071 centres in 19 risky districts have been prepared to take in 2,200,000-2,500,000 people by 8pm, Enamur said.
To counter Fani, 56,000 members of Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP), navy, police, coast guard, Ansar, Fire Service, Red Crescent, Scouts, local representatives, and the district administration have been assigned, the state minister said.
"We have taken preparations in such a manner that not one life will be lost to the cyclone," he said. "However, if the wind speeds cross 200km/h, we will not able to save the 11,000 hectares of croplands in the Khulna region."
Disabled people, pregnant women, and children will be given preference while moving the people to cyclone shelters, Enamur said.
"There are different rooms for disabled people. We have also allocated an extra Tk1,000,000's-worth of rations to the deputy commissioners, and 200 tons of GR rice. Meanwhile, 45,000 packets of dry food have been also been kept at the shelters," the state minister added.
The shelters will be powered using solar energy, he said. "Where there are no solar panels, pressurized paraffin lights will be used."
Secretary of the prime minister's office, Nazibur Rahman, said: "The prime minister's office is constantly monitoring the situation. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is currently in London, has instructed us to take all measures to fight Fani, regardless of whether it weakens, or not."
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, former Liberation War Affairs Minister Tajul Islam, Secretary of Disaster Management and Relief Shah Kamal, Information Secretary Abdul Malek, and Shamsuddin Ahmed, Director, Bangladesh Meteorological Department, were also present at the press conference.
Fani is likely to cross the Odisha coast of India by the afternoon, move north-northeastwards over the Odisha-West Bengal coastal area, and reach Khulna and adjoining south-western parts of Bangladesh by midnight.