'Better prepare than risk disaster'

Disaster Management and Relief minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali expressed satisfaction on preparations taken ahead of cyclone ‘Mahasen’ and said it had helped cut down risk of a disaster.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 16 May 2013, 03:35 AM
Updated : 16 May 2013, 05:53 AM

Ali told a press briefing on Thursday his ministry had already allotted Tk 100 million and 5,000 metric tonnes of rice to aid the victims of the cyclone.

A total of 19 helicopters, four aircrafts and 22 Bangladesh Navy vessels had been kept ready to handle the aftermath of the cyclone for rescue and relief operations, he said.

“Helicoptors and aircrafts were meant for inaccessible areas,” the Minister said.
Police, paramilitary Border Guard Battalion (BGB), Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, government officials and volunteer organisations were all working, he said.
Earlier, danger signal ‘7’ was hoisted in Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar areas with warning signal ‘5’ in Mongla.
Fifteen coastal areas had 3,296 cyclone shelters to house people from vulnerable areas along the coasts.
Victims will be provided with relief through local administration after the storm, Ali said.
The Minister provided details of people taken to cyclone shelters- 283,000 in 479 shelter homes of Chittagong, 197,577 in 279 houses of Cox’s Bazar, 24,500 in 244 houses of Noakhali, 4,000 in 73 houses of Feni, 4,643 in 15 houses of Lakkhipur, 40,250 in 196 houses of Khulna, 27,570 in 64 houses of Satkhira, 110,00 in 231 houses of Bagerhat, 3,250 in in 229 houses of Barisal, 60,700 in 128 homes of Pirozpur, 4,000 in 28 homes of Jhalkathi, 109,332 in 322 homes of Patuakhali, 64,500 in 324 shelters of Barguna, 29,300 in 460 houses of Bhola and 4,040 in 121 shelter homes of Chandpur.
Cyclone ‘Mahasen’ weakened on impacting the Bangladesh coast on Thursday, as it breezed past the Meghna estuary to cross Noakhali and Sitakunda in Chittagong on Thursday afternoon.
Bangladesh Meteorological Department Director Mohammad Shah Alam told bdnews24.com that the cyclone was expected to cross over to Myanmar in the next three to five hours.
“We will consider lowering danger signal after the storm clears the coast,” he said. "It is weakening."
From 6am-12noon, the storm sustained wind speed of 50 kilometres per hour, but later windspeeds fell to 25 kilometres per hour.
“ While crossing Patuakhali, the storm lost much of its strength dissipated by gusty winds and rainfall.”
He said the storm might pass away from Bangladesh by 9:00pm at night.