Severe Cyclone ‘Remal’ Makes Landfall On Bangladesh Coast, Nearly A Million Evacuated

Severe Cyclone ‘Remal’ Makes Landfall On Bangladesh Coast, Nearly A Million Evacuated

A severe cyclone ‘Remal’ struck the low-lying coast of Bangladesh on Sunday, with nearly a million people seeking shelter inland. The Bangladeshi government confirmed the landfall of the cyclone which brought high winds and a significant threat of flooding, news agency AFP reported. 

“The severe Cyclone Remal has started crossing the Bangladesh coast,” Azizur Rahman, director of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, told AFP. “We have so far recorded maximum wind speeds of 90 kilometres (56 miles) per hour, but the wind speed may pick up more pace,” he added. 

In preparation for cyclone Remal’s landfall, over 8,00,000 people were evacuated from vulnerable areas to shelters earlier today. The cyclone was expected to bring a high tidal surge and heavy rainfall to coastal districts, including Satkhira and Cox’s Bazar, news agency PTI reported. 

The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) expected that Remal would make landfall between 6:00 PM and midnight. 

The Met Office issued a “great danger signal” of 10, the highest level, for the southwestern region of greater Barisal and its shoals. A danger signal of nine was issued for the southeastern coastlines, including the port city of Chattogram. 

The BSS news agency, citing the latest met office bulletin, warned, “Under the peripheral effect of the severe cyclone and steep pressure gradient, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts…and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by a wind-driven surge of 08-12 feet height above normal astronomical tide”. 

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Md Mohibur Rahman announced at a press briefing that over 8,00,000 people were evacuated to cyclone centres and other safe locations. “We have taken all necessary measures on an urgent basis to tackle the severe cyclonic storm…all relevant organisations have been asked to work in a coordinated manner to face the cyclone,” he said.

Authorities launched an intensified evacuation campaign to move all vulnerable persons to safety, as the Met Office instructed Payra and Mongla ports to hoist danger signal number 10, and signal number nine for Cox’s Bazar and Chattogram ports.

Rahman stated, “We are hoping that we will be able to bring all vulnerable people living in 19 districts to the cyclone centres before the landfall of the cyclone”. 

Cyclone Remal, the first in the Bay of Bengal this pre-monsoon season, means “sand” in Arabic and follows the naming convention for cyclones in the Indian Ocean region. 

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