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Cyclone Amphan: 10m people suffer from power outage across Bangladesh

  • Published at 02:44 pm May 21st, 2020
power plant
File photo Syed Zakir Hossain/ Dhaka Tribune

Despite the immediate efforts of the distribution companies, electricity supply in most of these areas is yet to be restored

Power supply to much of the coastal region of Bangladesh has been disrupted due to heavy winds and rains in the aftermath of cyclone Amphan, which made landfall on Wednesday evening.

At least 10 million consumers across the country are now without electricity. 

Despite the immediate efforts of the distribution companies, electricity supply in most of these areas is yet to be restored. The most powerful cyclone in over a decade devastated villages, tore down power lines, and left large tracts of land underwater in the coastal areas of Bangladesh.

Contacted by Dhaka Tribune, Anjan Kanti Das, member of the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB), said: “We are the ones who have been hit the hardest by cyclone Amphan. We have a lot of consumers. 

“Most of the coastal districts now don’t have electricity. However, we commenced our repair efforts from early Thursday morning, right after the storm got weaker. As of now, we have been able to restore power in several regions, including Barisal, Bhola, and Jhalokathi around the country.

“Almost all of our consumers have been affected by the devastation caused by the cyclone, except those living in areas adjacent to Dhaka,” he added. 

He said: “People in Chandpur, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Jessore, Khulna and Barisal are suffering the most. As many as 200 electricity poles were severely damaged and a significant number of power lines were also torn down during the cyclone. 

“More than eight to nine million out of our total of 28.5 million consumers are now without electricity coverage.”

Meanwhile, Md Shafique Uddin, managing director of the state-owned West Zone Power Distribution Company Ltd (WZPDCL), said: “We have never seen a cyclone of such force before. It stormed throughout the night. At one point our feeders started to shut down one by one. Meanwhile, some of the grids also stopped operating. A number of our power supply poles and lines were damaged in the cyclone.”

“More than 1.2 million of our consumers have been affected by this outage. I am hopeful that we will be able to restore power supply very soon. 

“But it will take more time for the remote areas of the country,” he added.

Golam Kibria, Managing Director, Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB), said: “We are facing trouble in our supply for the coastal regions. The cyclone hit vast areas from Bhola to the Sundarbans. This has resulted in huge damage to us. We can provide power to people, but those living in these regions are not being able to get electricity as our lines were snapped in the cyclone. 

“At present we are only facing problems in our distribution to Kushtia. There is no electricity there. We are trying to provide power in the district by alternative means from Bheramara. I have also requested the authorities concerned to provide generators to the hospitals.”

“I am optimistic that we will be able to restore power by Thursday night,” he added.

Some supply lines of the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) were also damaged by cyclone Amphan. BPDB officials said that things would get back to normal by Thursday night. 

However, the capital Dhaka, despite some random power cuts, did not face any major power outage due to the cyclonic storm.

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