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Dhaka Saturday,  Jun 15, 2024

Cyclone Remal: 2 Dead, 3m Without Power 


Severe Cyclone Remal has lashed the coasts of Bangladesh with devastating wind of up to 120kph and storm surges, inundating hundreds of villages and leaving vast swathes without power.

The authorities reported at least two deaths caused by the cyclone in Patuakhali and Satkhira on Sunday night as people rushed to storm shelters or higher grounds with their livestocks.

The storm was likely to complete crossing the West Bengal-Khepupara coast near Mongla after another two to three hours, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department said in a special bulletin at 3:30am on Monday.

The maritime ports of Payra and Mongla and the nearby areas have been advised to keep hoisted ‘great danger’ signal No. 10, the highest level of alert.

The alert level for Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar ports and nearby areas was signal No. 9.

Under the peripheral effect of the severe cyclone and steep pressure gradient, the low-lying areas of 15 coastal districts are likely to be inundated by wind driven surge of up to 12 feet high above the normal tide, the Met Office said.

The 15 districts are Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Barguna, Barishal, Bhola, Patuakhali, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar.

Heavy to very heavy rainfall with wind gusts is expected in most of Bangladesh under the influence of the storm.

The Meteorological Department also warned of possible landslides in the hilly regions of Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Chattogram.

In Patuakhali, a 28-year-old man named Md Sharif Howlader was washed away by storm surge while returning home to bring his sister and aunt to a storm shelter.

Another man, identified as Shawkat Morol, 65, died after falling while running for cover during the storm.

The coastal areas were hit by outages one after another when the effects of the storm became visible in the evening.

Wind gusts knocked down utility poles or uprooted trees on power lines in many areas.

The authorities said at least 3 million customers were affected by the outages. .

Rafiqul Isam, an official at Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board, said the damage caused by the storm may increase by morning.

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