The very severe cyclonic storm may hit the Cox’s Bazar coast on Sunday, with wind speeds of 150-160 kph, and the possibility of raising the danger signal further
The very severe cyclonic storm Mocha, triggering a significant danger signal eight, has prompted residents of Cox’s Bazar’s coastal areas to seek refuge in shelters.
Since Saturday morning, people from coastal areas of Cox’s Bazar district, such as Sonadia and Ghoribhanga in Maheshkhali, Nazirartek in Cox’s Bazar Sadar, Samitipara, and the St Martin’s area of Teknaf, have been relocating to shelters.
More than 10,000 workers from various organizations are assisting with this effort.
Cox’s Bazar’s Additional Deputy Commissioner (General), Bibhishan Kanti Das, reported that some people began arriving at the shelters from coastal areas around 8am on Saturday. However, the exact number of people who have returned to the shelters is still unknown, and efforts are underway to collect this data.
Rain began on Friday afternoon due to the effects of Cyclone Mocha. Since Saturday morning, the area has experienced intermittent rainfall and gusty winds due to the storm.
Samsul Alam, who sought refuge in the Cox’s Bazar deputy commissioner’s office, said: “Our homes are on the seashore. They could be washed away at any time. To save our lives, we arrived here early. Only Allah knows the outcome of this cyclone. May he protect us.”
Mariam Akhtar, another resident of the seashore, said: “My husband is disabled. That’s why we came here early. We were informed by the television and local announcements that the cyclone may begin to impact the area this evening, so we gathered everything and came to the DC’s office.”
The Cox’s Bazar administration reported that around 8,600 volunteers from the Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP) and 2,200 volunteers from the Red Crescent Society are assisting people in reaching the shelters.
A total of 37 government establishments, including the offices of the navy, coast guard and police, have been prepared as cyclone shelters.
For emergency situations, Tk25 lakh has been allocated, of which Tk10 lakh has been dispatched to different upazilas.
In addition, 5.90 tons of rice, 3.5 tons of toast biscuits, 3.4 tons of dry cake, 194 bundles of tarpaulin, 20,000 packets of oral rehydration solution (ORS) saline, and 40,000 water purification tablets have been stocked.
In total, 576 shelters have been prepared, with a capacity to accommodate 559,900 people.
From Saturday morning, medical teams, the coast guard, navy, police, water police, district police, fire service, Red Crescent Society volunteers, scout teams, Ansar forces, and all other related agencies have been instructed to be fully prepared.
A control room has been established at the deputy commissioner’s office. The mobile number for the control room is: 01872615132.
Cox’s Bazar Met Office meteorologist Mohammad Abdur Rahman predicted that Cyclone Mocha may hit the Cox’s Bazar coast on Sunday, with wind speeds of 150-160 kph, and the possibility of raising the danger signal further.
He further stated that since both sides of St Martin’s Island are open and water can circulate freely, the likelihood of any significant damage is low, as water will not accumulate in that area.
The weather office will provide continuous updates on Cyclone Mocha, he added.
On behalf of the army, Major Fahad stated: “We have made all necessary preparations to face Cyclone Mocha.”
“We are dedicated to maintaining everything from the supply of medication to transportation facilities, as well as ensuring communication with residents in each region during times of emergency. Our communication cell has been activated. We will maintain regular contact with our team, and all necessary equipment is ready and prepared to handle the cyclone,” he added.