Cyclone Sidr strikes coastal Bangladesh, thousands evacuated

November 16th, 2007 - 1:38 pm ICT by admin  

Dhaka, Nov 16 (ANI): Cyclone Sidr struck the coastal districts of Bangladesh on Thursday night, causing the death of one person and the continued evacuation of thousands.
With a wind speed of upto 240 kph, the hurricane hit the southwestern coast of Bangladesh near the Sundarbans mangrove forests, about 100 kms south of Dhaka.
Tidal surges 15-20 feet above normal inundated low-lying areas, including Dublar Char, Nijhum Dwip, St Martin’s Island, Shah Pori Char, Kochikhali and Kotka.
Electricity supply was snapped in several areas, including Dhaka, as transformers malfunctioned at many places.
Gusty winds uprooted trees and roadside billboards and broke electric cables.
The Chittagong weather office reported that the authorities have evacuated around two lakh people to 368 cyclone shelters.
The exact figure of loss to lives and properties is not known immediately.
The maritime ports of Mongla and the coastal districts of Bhola, Barisal, Patuakhali, Barguna, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira and Jessore and their offshore islands have been placed under great danger signal-10.
Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Noakhali, Feni, Laxmipur, Chandpur and their offshore islands were asked to hoist the great danger signal-9.
Thousands of acres of Aman paddy fields were damaged in Patuakhali District as tidal surge inundated the fields. Lowlands in Kalapara, Galachipa, Dashmina, Baufal, Mirzaganj were flooded with around three feet of tidal waters.
Instructions have been issued to Zia International Airport to operate flights with caution. Operations were suspended at Chittagong Port and Shah Amanat International Airport.
The cyclone situation is being monitored round the clock.
According to reports from Cox’s Bazar, around 300 fishing trawlers with around 1,000 fishermen are missing. Over 100 tourists are stranded on the St Martin’s Island.
Port authorities have stopped plying of all types of vessels including launch and ferry on several routes.
The cyclone system crossed to the west of Khepupara and is likely to move in the North-North Easterly direction and weaken gradually.
Though the severe cyclonic storm has spared the Indian coasts, under its influence the entire gangetic belt, five coastal districts of West Bengal, districts of Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, south Assam and Meghalaya would experience heavy to very heavy rain in the next 24 hours.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea during next 24 hours. (ANI)

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