Bangladesh is preparing for the arrival of Cyclone Mocha, one of the most powerful cyclones seen in the country in almost 20 years, which is predicted to hit the southeastern coast on Sunday. Hundreds of thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate, including the over one million Rohingya refugees who live in the country’s southeast.
The refugees live in shelters that are vulnerable to strong winds, rain, and landslides. Preparations are underway to evacuate the refugees partially if needed, and the UN refugee agency is preparing tens of thousands of hot meals and jerrycans.
The Bangladeshi Disaster Management Ministry has set up more than 1,500 cyclone centres and has set a target to evacuate 500,000 people in the two districts. The ministry is focusing on ensuring adequate food, safe shelter, and special care for women, children, and the elderly.
The cyclone’s path is set to affect Bangladesh's southeastern border district of Cox's Bazar, where the refugees are located. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has predicted a storm surge of 2-2.5 metres, which is likely to inundate low-lying areas of North Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Flash floods and landslides are also possible in some areas. The Bangladeshi authorities have suspended inland river transport across Bangladesh and flight operations at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram. They have also put the Chattogram port on the highest alert and are moving docked ships to the outer anchorage.
The government has postponed the Secondary School Certificate exams and Sunday’s exams at the National University under Chattogram, Barishal, Cumilla, technical, and madrasa boards. The Power, energy, and mineral resources ministry has halted the supply of liquefied natural gas from two floating terminals in Cox’s Bazar.
(With PTI Inputs)