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Cyclone ‘Bulbul’: People start moving to shelters in Bagerhat

 Cyclone Bulbul

People from the coastal regions started heading to shelters on Friday evening as very severe cyclonic storm ‘Bulbul’ continues to approach Bangladesh.

Sarankhola Upazila Nirbahi Officer Sardar Mostfa Shahin said some people have taken shelter at Bodi, Gabtola, and Tafalbari in the upazila.

The district administration has prepared 234 cyclone shelters for 226,000 people and opened 10 control rooms.

Medical teams, firefighters, Red Cross members and volunteers are on standby.

All types of post-disaster measures have also been taken, Bagerhat Deputy Commissioner Md Mamun-ur-Rashid said.

8,000 fishermen stranded

Meanwhile, an estimated 8,000 fishermen are stranded in various chars, said Divisional Forest Officer Md Mahmudul Hasan of East Sundarbans zone.

“They have been staying there since Nov 1 for processing dry fish,” he said. The season will end in March.

A number of fishermen have moved to safety. “Currently, 5,000 fishermen are at Alorkole and 3,000 others at various chars,” he said.

Bagerhat Deputy Commissioner Md Mamun-ur-Rashid said they are trying to evacuate the fishermen. “We hope to take them to safety within midnight,” he said.

Operation suspended at Mongla

Mongla Harbour Master Commander Faruk Uddin said the activities at the port were suspended after danger signal number 7 was issued.

All types of vessels were directed to take shelter at the port. A control room was opened, he added.

The Met Office said ‘Bulbul’ has intensified further and now lies over Northwest Bay and adjoining west-central Bay.

It was about 620km southwest of Chattogram port, 585km southwest of Cox’s Bazar port, 495km southwest of Mongla port and 490km southwest of Payra port at 6pm.

“It is likely to intensify further,” the Met Office said, adding that it may hit Khulna coast near Sundarbans by Saturday evening.

Under the influence of the very severe cyclone storm and the moon phase, low-lying areas of coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Borguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalokathi, Bagherhat, Khulna, and Satkhira are likely to be inundated by storm surge of 5-7 feet height above normal astronomical tide.