Massive evacuation begins ahead of cyclone Mocha

Great Danger Signal 10 at Cox’s Bazar port

Sea turns rough on Saturday under the influence of a cyclonic storm Mocha that lies over the southeast Bay of Bengal. This photo was taken from Patenga sea shore in Chattogram. NN photo
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Staff Reporter  :
Bangladesh authorities have begun evacuating more than half a million people as a cyclone barrelled towards its coasts, with officials racing to ready shelters amid fears of devastation by the storm.

Cox’s Bazar maritime port was advised to hoist Great Danger Signal 10 while Chattogram and Payra ports asked to keep hoisting Great Danger Signal 8 as very severe cyclonic strom Mocha over east central Bay moved North-Northeastwards and intensified further over the same area.
Besides, Mongla port has been advised to keep hoisting Warning Signal 4.

Clyclone Mocha is expected to make a landfall in Bangladesh on Sunday evening. While a direct hit is not expected, it will affect Bangladesh’s southeastern border district of Cox’s Bazar where a million Rohingya refugees live.

Meanwhile, Disaster Management and Relief Minister Md Enamur Rahman at a press conference in the ministry said, that cyclone Mocha, an extremely powerful storm, may cause severe flooding in six districts of the country.

He further said, that a total of 1,600 shelter have been prepared in Cox’s Bazar for the safety of the local residents to cope with the cyclone.
He stated that these shelters are fully equipped to provide protection to the coastal residents during the adverse weather conditions caused by the cyclone. Additionally, he mentioned that 14 tonnes of dry food have already been sent to the area.

“Cyclone Mocha intensified into a formidable storm. It is currently advancing towards the north and northeast. The way it is progressing, I am concerned that it will impact the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh. As a result, there is a possibility of flooding in various regions, including Chattogram, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Barishal, and Bhola,” he said.

The minister further said, “The cyclone is expected to bring rainfall of more than 200 millimeters, posing a risk of landslides. So far, the military has not been mobilised, but navy and coast guard are actively involved.”

“The current wind speed is between 150 to 160 kilometers per hour, and it may increase to around 180 kilometers per hour. However, there is no major concern for it to be classified as a super cyclone or an extremely severe cyclonic storm,” he said.
He also said the cyclone may hit between 6 am and 6 pm on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Cox’s Bazar district administration has evacuated over 50,000 people to safe shelters as cyclone Mocha has intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm over the east central Bay of Bengal.

The people were brought to safe shelter from Cox’s Bazar’s Nazirartek, Samitypara, Maheshkhali’s Dhalghata, Sonadia, Ghoribhanga and Kutubjom, Teknaf, Baharchhara and St Martin’s Island till 2.30pm on Saturday.
Additional District Administration of Cox’s Bazar Bibhishan Kanti Das said that the people have taken shelter in 576 cyclone centres from Saturday 8am to 2:30pm to be safe from the extremely severe cyclonic storm Mocha.
“We have opened the shelters since morning,” he said.

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“The people of the coastal areas have started coming in. Many more people will also come hopefully. However, it is not possible to say exactly how many people will take refuge,” said the official.

Besides, about four lakh people mainly women and children have been evacuated to 1,030 cyclone shelters in Chattogram district to save their lives and valuables from the impacts of cyclone ‘Mocha’.

Alongside, some 16,500 volunteers are working to tackle the situation, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Abul Bashar Md Fakruzzaman, who currently visited the Banskhali coastal area.

He said 90 percent people, mainly women and children, have already been evacuated to 1,030 cyclone shelters in the coastal district.
Over 2,000 primary schools cum cyclone centers have already been ready to evacuate more people as the Cyclone ‘MOCHA’ is gaining more and more strength with each passing hour likely to turn into an extremely severe cyclonic storm, the DC added.
However, Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), in a special bulletin said Cox’s Bazar and adjoining coastal areas will experience the peripheral effect of the very severe cyclonic storm by Saturday evening.

At 12 am yesterday , it was centred about 865 km south-southwest of Chattogram port, 795 km south-southwest of Cox’s Bazar port, 830 km south-southwest of Mongla port and 795 km south-southwest of Payra port.

Maximum sustained wind speed within 74 km of the very severe cyclone centre is about 150 kph, rising to 170 kph, in gusts or squalls.
The coastal districts of Cox’s Bazar, Chattogram, Feni, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Chandpur, Bhola and their islands and chars are likely to be inundated by the wind driven surge – 8-12 feet above normal tide.

Under the peripheral effect of very severe cyclone and steep pressure gradient, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Feni, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Chandpur, Bhola and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by the wind driven surge height of 05-07 feet above normal astronomical tide.

Under the effect of very severe cyclone, Chattogram, Sylhet and Barishal divisions are likely to be experienced the heavy (44-88 mm) to very heavy rainfall ( 89 mm). Due to very heavy rainfall landslide may occur at places over the hilly regions of Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Rangamati, Khagrachari and Chattogram.

All fishing boats and trawlers over north Bay have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice.

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