Home » Cyclone Remal Hits Bangladesh Coast, Forcing Massive Evacuations

Cyclone Remal Hits Bangladesh Coast, Forcing Massive Evacuations

by Mohammed Ahmed
Cyclone Remal Hits Bangladesh Coast, Forcing Massive Evacuations

Cyclone Remal has made a devastating landfall on the low-lying coast of Bangladesh, leading to a large-scale evacuation and triggering a ferry accident. The cyclone began crossing the coast in the southern district of Khepupara around 8 pm local time (14:00 GMT), with wind speeds reaching up to 120 kilometers per hour (75 mph), according to meteorologist Shamim Ahsan.

In response to the impending disaster, Bangladeshi authorities raised the danger signal to 10, the highest level, and ordered evacuations from “unsafe and vulnerable” homes. Kamrul Hasan, Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, confirmed that at least 800,000 people have been relocated to cyclone shelters.

However, as people fled the coastal areas, tragedy struck near the port of Mongla. A heavily laden ferry carrying more than 50 passengers—double its capacity—was swamped and sank. Local police chief Mushfiqur Rahman Tushar reported that at least 13 people were injured and taken to a hospital.

Bangladesh has mobilized an extensive disaster response effort, setting up more than 7,000 cyclone shelters and deploying 78,000 volunteers, as stated by State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Mohibur Rahman.

Cyclones have historically caused significant loss of life and damage in Bangladesh. Last May, Cyclone Mocha became the most powerful storm since Cyclone Sidr in November 2007, which killed over 3,000 people and caused billions of dollars in damage. The frequency and intensity of such superstorms have increased, largely attributed to climate change, with the densely populated coast now experiencing up to three major storms annually.

India is also bracing for the impact of Cyclone Remal, expected to make landfall overnight in the eastern state of West Bengal. The Indian government has deployed its disaster relief force, suspended flights in Kolkata, and moved more than 50,000 people inland from the Sundarbans mangrove forest. “We want to ensure that a single life is not lost,” stated Bankim Chandra Hazra, a senior minister in West Bengal.

Parts of West Bengal have already begun experiencing moderate rainfall, and the government has cancelled leave for employees in essential services to ensure readiness. The Indian Navy has also placed ships, aircraft, divers, and medical supplies on standby for immediate deployment if required.

As Cyclone Remal continues to affect the region, both Bangladesh and India are on high alert, focusing on minimizing casualties and providing relief to the affected populations.

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