Thousands running for refuge

Hundreds of thousands of people are being evacuated from the low lands of the coastal areas to shelters as Cyclone Mahasen is set to bear down.

Published : 15 May 2013, 10:19 AM
Updated : 15 May 2013, 10:40 AM
The storm approaching the Bangladesh shorelines travelled 175 kilometres in nine hours on Wednesday and shifted more towards the north-north-easterly side, the weather office said.
The cyclone caused by a tropical depression in the Bay of Bengal has been causing light rainfalls in Cox’s Bazar, Patuakhali and other districts since morning.
Deputy Director Shamsuddin Ahmed for the Meteorological Department’s Cyclone Prediction Center told that the cyclone may sweep Khepupara-Teknaf coast near Chittagong at dawn on Thursday.
The authorities have cancelled approved leaves for the government employees in the coastal areas as a precautionary measure against the approaching cyclone.
The danger level has also been raised to seven on a scale of ten for Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar ports.
Volunteers wasted no time in updating the people of those ‘danger zones’ soon after the signal was passed by the Met Office to the authorities.
The elderly, handicapped, children, pregnant women and cattle were moved to shelters within moments of receiving a cautionary signal.
Alternative routes towards the shelter should also be cleared beforehand, according to a circular released on Wednesday.
Local administration was also moving people living in the vulnerable areas to shelters.
The Ministry of Health cancelled leave for doctors and formed 1327 medical teams for the coastal districts to tackle Mahasen.