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Cyclone ‘Bulbul’ on course to hit Khulna region by midnight

News Desk: Bangladesh raised the storm danger signal to the highest level as cyclone ‘Bulbul’ intensified further and is likely to cross West Bengal-Khulna coast — near the Sundarbans– by Saturday midnight, packing a speed of 110 to 130 kph.

“The coastal districts of Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakati, Bagerhat, Khulna and Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars will come under great danger signal No 10,” the Met Office said in a special bulletin.

“The maritime ports of Mongla and Payra have been advised to keep hoisted great danger signal No 10,” it said.

The low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakati, Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by a storm surge of 5-7 feet highest above the normal astronomical tide.

The maritime port of Chattogram has been advised to keep hoisted great danger signal No 9.

The coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars will come under great danger signal No 9.

The maritime port of Cox’s Bazar has been advised to keep hoisted local warning signal No 4.

At 6pm, ‘Bulbul’ was about 210 kms southwest of Mongla port, 255 kms southwest of Payra port, 425 kms west-southwest of Chattogram port and 430 km west-southwest of Cox’s Bazar port.

The maximum sustained wind speed within 74 kms of the very severe cyclone centre is about 110kph, rising to 130kph in gusts/squalls. Sea will remain very high near the very severe cyclone centre.

It is likely to move in a north/northeasterly direction further. Its peripheral gusty/squally wind continued over the coastal areas of Bangladesh.

Khulna, Satkhira, Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Bhola, Pirojpur, Jhalakati and Bagerhat are likely to experience wind speed up to 120kph with heavy to very heavy rainfall during the passage of the storm.

Meanwhile, around 764,000 people have been evacuated from seven coastal districts to shelter centres. The districts are Baterhat, Khulna, Satkhira, Barishal, Pirojpur, Barguna and Bhola.

The government has also formed 1,577 medical teams and opened 4,516 shelters in the coastal districts.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said the government has taken all-out preparations to tackle the approaching severe cyclone ‘Bulbul’.

Earlier on Friday night, all the launch services were suspended amid the impending severe cyclone.

According to the Bangladesh Navy, kept five ships have been ready at Khulna BNS Titumir for emergency relief and rescue operations in Khulna, Barishal, Patuakhali, Jhalakati and Barguna. Source: UNB

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