Spread the love

Bangladesh: a million inhabitants flee the powerful cyclone Remal, which made landfall

The powerful cyclone Remal reached the coasts of Bangladesh on Sunday, causing at least a million people to flee to seek refuge elsewhere. inland.

“Cyclone Remal has started crossing the coast of Bangladesh,” Azizur Rahman, director of Bangladesh's meteorological department, told AFP. “We have so far recorded maximum wind speeds of 90 km/h, but they could accelerate.”

Gusts could reach 130 km/h. Heavy rains and strong winds will also affect neighboring India, where coastal areas have also been evacuated.

The cyclones have killed hundreds of thousands of people Bangladesh in recent decades, and their numbers hitting its low-lying, densely populated coastline have increased sharply, from one to three per year, due to climate change.

“The cyclone could trigger a storm surge of up to four meters above the normal tide, which is potentially dangerous,” a senior meteorological service official, Muhammad Abul Kalam, told AFP. Mallik.

Most of Bangladesh's coastal areas are one or two meters above sea level.

Bangladesh authorities have raised the cyclone alert level to its maximum, warning fishermen not to go to sea and issuing an evacuation order for those in vulnerable areas.

“We are terrified,” said Yusuf Fakir, a 35-year-old fisherman from Kuakata, a town in the far south of Bangladesh, right in the storm's predicted path.

He sent his wife and children to a relative inland. He stays to protect their property.

– A sunken ferry –

As the people fled, police said a ferry carrying more than 50 passengers – double its capacity – had sunk near Mongla, a port in the storm's expected path.

“At least thirteen people were injured and taken to hospital,” local police chief Mushfiqur Rahman Tushar told AFP, adding that other boats had taken their passengers to safety.

Government disaster management secretary Kamrul Hasan told AFP the order had been given to bring to safety those living in “dangerous houses and vulnerable”.

Bangladesh: a million inhabitants flee the powerful cyclone Remal, which made landfall

Volunteers use a megaphone to ask people to evacuate as a preventive measure in Kuakata on May 26, 2024, before the arrival of Cyclone Remal in Bangladesh on Sunday evening. © AFP – Munir UZ ZAMAN

The authorities mobilized tens of thousands of volunteers to alert the population of the danger.

According to Mr. Hasan, some 4,000 cyclone shelters have been prepared along the country's coast in the Bay of Bengal.

The cyclone is expected to sweep a stretch of 220 kilometers from India's Sagar Island to Khepupara in Bangladesh.

– Closure of Calcutta airport –

Apart from villagers and fishermen, many centers to several floors have space to house cattle, buffalo and goats, as well as pets.

The country's three seaports and Chittagong Airport, the second-largest city, were closed, officials said.

India's Calcutta airport was closed from Sunday midday until Monday morning, “in anticipation of strong winds and very heavy rain”, airport authorities said .

And the beaches near the area have been closed.

Bangladesh: a million inhabitants flee the powerful cyclone Remal, which made landfall

Men push a fishing boat as a precaution during rains in Kuakata on May 26, 2024, ahead of Cyclone Remal's arrival in Bangladesh on Sunday evening. © AFP – Munir UZ ZAMAN

The Indian Navy announced on Sunday that it had prepared two ships equipped with medical supplies for “immediate deployment to ensure the safety and well-being of the affected population”.

While scientists say climate change is fueling more storms, better forecasting and more effective evacuation planning have dramatically reduced the death toll.

During the Great Bhola cyclone in November 1970, an estimated half a million people died, most of them drowned by the storm.

In May 2023, Cyclone Mocha caused the most powerful storm to hit Bangladesh since Cyclone Sidr in November 2007. Sidr killed more than 3,000 people and caused billions of dollars in damage.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116