[A satellite image of Cyclone Mahasen hitting Bangladesh shoreline Thursday.
Image courtesy: Bangladesh Meteorological Department]
Daily Star: Cyclone Mahasen made landfall at Kuakata in Patuakhali around 9:00am Thursday, after journeying over 1,700 kilometres from its place of origin in the Bay of Bengal.
The full account of the destruction was not available immediately. But our correspondent confirmed that at least a man, aged 75 years, as the slow-paced cyclonic storm left a trail of destruction along its trajectory.
Maintaining a 21kph race for quite a few hours, the cyclonic storm lashed Kuakata coast, a very popular tourist destination, on its course to hit some more coastal districts.
Mahasen, which developed into a cyclonic storm from an area of low pressure over the southern Bay of Bengal in early May, later journeyed towards Rangabali upazila, according to officials of local Met office.
The cyclone later moved eastwards to Rangabali upazila of the district and Charfassion of Bhola, added the officials.
Meanwhile, talking to The Daily Star, Anisur Rahman, project implementation officer of Charfassion Upazila Control Room, said the cyclone lashed Char Kukri Mukri creating havoc, a remote island of Bhola, around 10:00am.
The cyclone was centred about 150 kilometers southwest of Chittagong port, 140km southwest of Cox’s Bazar port and 140km south of Mongla port at 11:00am, Shah Alam, director of BMD told reporters during a press briefing at Met office.
According to witnesses, the whole structure of a tin-roofed residential hotel was razed to the ground and two others were damaged as the storm hit Kuakata with strong wind and heavy shower at 9:00am.
None of the boarders was injured as all of them were shifted to nearby cyclone centres before the cyclone made landfall.
Over 1,000 of kutcha houses in Kalapara, Golachipa, Dasmina and Rangabali upazilas of the district have been destroyed so far, said local Relief and Disaster Rehabilitation Department.
A 75-year old man died as a sharp branch of tree pierced through his abdomen when he tumbled on it amid strong gusty wind in Dhaligournagar area of Lalmohan upazila of Bhola around 8:15am.
Abdul Kashem was going to a shelter in the area, said Khandaker Mizanur Rahman, officer-in-charge (OC) of Lalmohan Police Station.
At least 60 people were injured in house and tree collapse in the upazila, said Liakat Ali, upazila nirbahi officer of Rangabali.
Total 123 millimeter rainfall was recorded in the district in 12 hours till 6:00am today, it said.
Coastal areas were remaining under five feet water around 10:00am when this report was filed.
Several mobile phone towers were uprooted, disrupting telecommunication network.
There was no power in none of the upazilas since 10:00 Wednesday night. The district headquarters is without power since 7:00am.
The authorities have raised the danger level to seven, on a scale of 1 to 11, for Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar ports. Coastal districts of Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barisal and their offshore islands and chars (shoals) will come under danger signal number seven.
Meantime, maritime port of Mongla has been advised to keep hoisted danger signal number five.
Pirojpur, Jhalkathi, Bagherhat, Khulna and Satkhira coastal districts and their offshore islands and chars will come under the danger signal.
Storm surge of 8-10 feet height above normal astronomical tide may inundate the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barisal, Pirojpur, Jhalkathi, Bagherhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars.
According to the BMD bulletin, Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barisal, Bhola, Pirojpur, and their offshore islands and chars are likely to experience wind speed up to 90-100kph in gusts or squalls with heavy to very falls during the passage of the storm.
Meantime, Jhalkathi, Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars are likely to experience wind speed up to 80-90kph in such gusts or squalls with heavy to very falls during the passage of the storm.
All fishing boats, trawlers and marine vessels over North Bay have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice.