Bulbul claims 8 lives in Bangladesh
At least eight persons were killed and 15 others injured as Cyclone Bulbul smashed into the low-lying areas of Bangladesh on Sunday, bringing in its wake torrential rain coupled with howling gales.
The cyclone packed winds of up to 120kmph when it made a predawn landfall before weakening into a deep depression, forcing the authorities to evacuate over 21 lakh people from the low-lying areas.
The authorities have ordered a temporary ban on boat and ferry movements in internal riverine routes and coastal waters, besides closing air traffic operations near coastal airports for nearly 24 hours.
At least eight persons in seven coastal districts have been reported dead from a combination of falling trees, collapsed houses and illness after Cyclone Bulbul ripped through southern Bangladesh, bdnews24.com reported.
The health directorate’s Health Emergency Operation Centre and Control Room confirmed the death toll on Sunday, the report said, adding that 25 people had been injured.
Two persons died after being crushed by trees uprooted during the storm in Khulna’s Dighalia and Dacope upazillas, while an elderly man died when a tree fell on his house in Patuakhali, the health officials said.
In similar incidents, a woman died after her house was battered by strong winds in Madaripur Sadar upazilla, while an elderly woman died under a fallen tree at Barishal in the municipal town of Uzirpur, the report said.
An elderly woman died after falling sick in Barguna Sadar upazilla and a man died when a tree toppled by strong wind gusts landed on his house in Pirojpur’s Nazirpur upazilla, the report said.
A young girl died when an uprooted tree fell on her during the storm in Bagerhat’s Rampal-Ujolpur area, said the health directorate.
At least 15 people were injured in different incidents at four coastal districts. Nine of them are receiving treatment at hospitals, the report said.
Bangladesh’s meteorological department in a special bulletin on Sunday said the cyclone had “weakened” and “started crossing” Bengal and Bangladesh’s southwestern Khulna coast.
The Met office had on Saturday issued its highest “great signal numbers” 10 and 9 for the southwestern and southeastern coastlines, prompting authorities to launch a massive evacuation campaign. The office on Sunday lowered the number to 3.
The cyclone, packing gusts of up to 130kmph, coincided with the full moon, which inflates sea waters, raising fears of a catastrophe. However, meteorologists said the damage was less than what had been anticipated as Bulbul made landfall during the low tide early in the morning, instead of midnight when the Bangladesh coasts witness high tide.
The army was called in to supplement the cyclone preparedness. Authorities suspended all activities at the country’s seaports, including at Chattogram Port that handles almost 80 per cent of Bangladesh’s exports and imports.