The super cyclone ‘Amphan’ over west central bay and adjoining area moved north-northeastwards and lies over the same area as an extremely severe cyclonic storm.
It is likely to move in a north-northeasterly direction and may cross Bangladesh coast between Khulna and Chattogram either on Wednesday afternoon or evening.
Under the influence of the cyclone and the new moon phase, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Jhalakati, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Barishal, Laxmipur, Chandpur, Noakhali, Feni, Chattogram and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by a storm surge of 5-10 feet height of above normal astronomical tide.
Where is the super cyclone now?
It centred at 03 pm on Tuesday about 785 km southwest off Chattogram port, 740 km southwest off Cox’s Bazar port, 670 km south-southwest off Mongla port and 665 km south-southwest off Payra port.
The maximum sustained wind speed within 85 kms of the cyclone centre is about 200 kph rising to 220 kph in gusts/squalls. The sea will remain very high near the super cyclone centre.
The maritime ports of Mongla and Payra have been advised to keep hoisted danger signal number seven. The coastal districts of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Jhalakati, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Barishal, Laxmipur, Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars will come under danger signal number seven.
The maritime ports of Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar have been advised to keep hoisted danger signal number six. Coastal districts of Noakhali, Feni, Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar their offshore islands while char areas will come under danger signal number six.
The coastal districts of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Jhalakati, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Barishal, Laxmipur, Chandpur, Noakhali, Feni, Chattogram and their offshore islands and chars are likely to experience a wind speed up to 140-160 kph in gusts/squalls with heavy to very heavy falls during the passage of the cyclone.
All fishing boats and trawlers over North Bay and deep sea have been advised to take shelter immediately and will remain in shelter till further notice.
State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman said the government has taken necessary preparations to face the super cyclone.
He said 12,078 shelters have been kept ready in 19 coastal districts.
‘Amphan’ will be the first super-cyclonic storm to hit the region for more than 20 years. In 1999, a super-cyclone hit the coast of Odisha, killing more than 9,000 people in India, according to The Guardian.
The super cyclone is expected to cause heavy rains and possible flooding in Cox’s Bazar Rohingya camps, home to more than a million Rohingyas.
Besides, the people living in coastal regions of the country will be evacuated to shelters by Tuesday evening, said Dr Enamur.
This special precautionary measure has been taken as the intensifying super cyclone ‘Amphan’ is moving across the Bay of Bengal and likely make landfall in Bangladesh’s coastal areas by Wednesday, Dr Enamur said while addressing an online press briefing after a meeting of the ministry.
Double challenge for Bangladesh
‘Amphan’ will pose a ‘double challenge’ to Bangladesh as the country grapples to contain the spread of highly infectious coronavirus.
It will be hard to maintain social distancing at the cyclone shelters and the situation will be disastrous if there are asymptomatic patients.