300,000 people evacuated, airports closed post Cyclone Mora

Last Updated: Tue, May 30, 2017 12:04 hrs

[Bangladesh], May 30 (ANI): The Civil Aviation Authority in Bangladesh has suspended domestic and international flights in Chittagong and Cox's Bazar, even as local authorities have taken steps to evacuate nearly 300,000 people from the country's southern coastal areas where the high intensity Cyclone Mora is expected to make a landfall on Tuesday.

Rescue teams comprising of the armed forces and other agencies have been deployed and medical teams are on alert.

"More people were still waiting for evacuation while airports and ports have been closed in the regions as they are going to be worst hit," CNN quoted Abu Syed Mohammad Hashim, acting director general of the country's Disaster Management Department, as saying.

Residents were seeking shelter in schools and other safe buildings in 17 coastal districts, Hashim said. Officials have organized 3,800 relief centers ahead of the storm.

The country's two main seaports in Chittagong and Mongla have stopped operations, and river transports across Bangladesh have been suspended.

The airports of Chittagong and Cox's Bazar have also been closed; Cox's Bazar indefinitely and Chittagong's Shah Amanat International Airport until at least 2 p.m.

Heavy rainfall is being reported in Chittagong. Deputy Commissioner Zillur Rahman Chowdhury has said about 30,000 people have taken up refuge at the hundreds of storm shelters near the coast.

The Met office has advised to hoist great Danger Signal No 10 at coastal areas including Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Khulna, Satkhira and the two coastal ports in Mongla and Payra.

Mora was centred at around 385km south of Chittagong port and 305km south of Cox's Bazar port around 7pm on Monday, said Bangladesh Meteorological Department.

An emergency meeting was held in the morning regarding the preparations for the possible impact of the cyclone and the administration has taken all necessary measures in this regard, The Dhaka Tribune quoted Mohamad Omar Faruk, secretary of Chittagong Port Authority as saying. Due to the increasing intensity of the cyclone, all loading and unloading activities at Chittagong marine port has been suspended for the time being.

Great Danger Signal No 10 has also been hoisted in six coastal districts - Cox's Bazar, Chittagong, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Feni and Chandpur as well as the off-shore islands located in these districts.

The administration has set up shelters equipped with enough stockpiled to sustain and organised a number of meetings to raise awareness among people to mitigate the cyclone's impact. (ANI)