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Sunday, May 22, 2016, Jaistha 8, 1423 BS, Shaban 14, 1437 Hijri

Cyclone 'Roanu' hits coastal belt
21 killed, several missing; 5 lakh people evacuated from 14 districts
Published :Sunday, 22 May, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 37
Mamunur Rashid with Mahabub Alam
Cyclone 'Roanu' crossed coastlines of the country on Saturday evening claiming lives of at least 21 people in six districts, with a number of others believed to be missing.
Of the dead, 11 in Chittagong, three in Bhola, two in Cox's Bazar, one in Patuakhali, one in Laxmipur and three in Noakhali.
The storm and heavy rainfall from the cyclone, originated from the Bay of Bengal, also injured several hundred people and damaged hundreds of trees, establishments and infrastructures.
Many parts of the coastal areas have gone under 4-5 feet water, marooning thousands of inhabitants.
Water vessels at all the ports and launch terminals were found anchored until the cyclone crossed, with supply of electricity being disrupted in the coastal areas.
Met Office said being weakened, the cyclone had crossed Chittagong coastline, which made landfall at 12:40pm, after crossing Barguna, Barisal, Bhola and Patuakhali.
The office lowered the cautionary signal-7 for coastlines to signal-3 in the evening.
It also forecast rain or thunder showers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind are likely to occur at most places over Rajshahi, Rangpur, Dhaka, Khulna, Barisal, Chittagong and Sylhet divisions.
Heavy rain falls may occur at places over Dhaka, Khulna, Barisal, Chittagong and Sylhet divisions.
The HSC examinations of Sunday were, meanwhile, shifted to May 27.
Our Chittagong correspondent adds, 11 people were killed at Salinpur in Sitakunda, Banshkhali and Sholashahar upazilas.
Kajol Begum and her son Belal Hossain died as an uprooted tree fell on their house at about 4:00am, said Nazmul Islam Bhuyian, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Sitakunda.
A stone, fell from an under-construction building due to the gusty wind, caused death to 11-year-old Raqib Ahmed at Sholashahar around1:15pm.
At least six people were killed at Khankhanbad and Sanua unions of Banskhali upazila. Local administration reported missing of five persons so far.
The five of the deceased have been identified as Abu Siddik, 60, Bulu Akhtar, 45, Muhammad Hussain, 7, Jalal, 3 and Tahera Begum, 35.
Two persons were killed in other parts of Chittagong.
Our Bhola correspondent reports the cyclone claimed three lives, injured more than 100 and damaged about 300 houses and business establishments at Tajumaddin upazila at about 4:00am.
The deceased have been identified as Rekha Begum, 35, wife of Nayan of Chandpur union, Akram Hossain,12, and Ranu Bibi, 50.
Two cargo vessels capsized in the River Meghna at Elisha of Sadar around 11:00pm, said Khairul Kabir, OC of Bhola Model Police Station, adding that four labourers of the vessels could not be found.
Our Patuakhali correspondent adds: Naya Bibi, 55, was killed as her house collapsed during the storm at Gopaldi village in Dashmina at 3:00am, said Iqbal Mahmud Liton, Chairman of Dashmina Union Parishad.
The heavy wind accompanied by torrential rainfall damaged more than 100 houses and business entities, with breaking embankment, road and inundating crops in several hundred hectares.
Our Cox's Bazar correspondent reported deaths of two persons, AKM Fazlul Huq, 55 and Md Iqbal alias Badal, 27, quoting Angsha Thoai, OC of Kutubdia Police Station.
Fazlul Huq died after being wounded at the time of getting down from a fishing trawler during the stormy weather at Koiarbil around 2:00pm, while Iqbal died in a house collapse, the OC added.
Our Laxmipur correspondent adds: Anwar Ullah, 55, son of Bashir Ullah of Uttar Towariganj in Sadar, died as a tree due to the stormy wind fell over him. The incident also injured another man.
The Laxmipur administration evacuated about 76,000 people from coastline to cyclone centres and other places.
Not fewer than 35 villages of Barguna were submerged.
Our Noakhali correspondent said three persons, including a mother and her daughter, were killed at Hatia upazila.
The deceased are Minara Begum,35, her daughter Ruma, 10, and Maksuda,51.
They drowned into water while they were being taken safe shelters, said Mushfiqur Rahman, Secretary of Biararchar Union Parishad.
In the meantime, Relief and Disaster Management Minister, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury, at a press briefing said the government had taken all out preparation to handle the fallout from cyclone.
He claimed that around five lakh people of 14 coastal districts had been evacuated to safe shelters with allocation of Tk four lakh and 2,000 tonnes of rice for each coastal district.
The minister has said that about one lakh disaster response personnel from Ansar and VDP, Cyclone Preparedness Programme Committees, Red Crescent Society and other agencies as well as local Awami League activists have been kept standby.
Disaster Management Secretary Md Shah Kamal has said that the administration chiefs of the coastal districts have placed a demand of 300 to 500 tonnes of rice and a cash assistance of Tk 1-2 million each.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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