1000 bangladesh fishermen missing, storm likely to intensify : Met

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Dhaka, Sep 23 (UNI) As many as 85 Bangladesh trawlers and boats with more than 1,000 crew and fishermen went missing in a storm in the Bay of Bengal.

Only 91 were rescued in the coast of Barisal, Barguna, Patuokhali, Bagerhat and cox's Bazar of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Meteorological office has warned that the low pressure area that centred over the Bay of Bengal yesterday is likely to intensify and move to the India's eastern coastal state of Orissa advising local warning 4, which means ports are threatened by a storm, but the danger is not yet sufficiently great to justify extreme precautionary measures.

''Maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Mongla have been advised to keep the local warning signal hoisted,'' the bulletin said.

Heavy seas were preventing rescue operations, but authorities said they would start a search as soon as the stormy weather subsided.

Surviving fishermen said that they saw several boats to sink.

In Cox's Bazar, about 10 fishing boats with nearly 100 fishermen capsized, but about 80 fishermen made it back to shore.

Officials also warned of flooding, with low-lying areas of the several coastal districts, including Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and their offshore islands, likely to be inundated by water surges up to 4 feet (1.2 metres) high, driven by high winds.

Upazila Nirbahi officer Selim Khan in Patharghata said they held an emergency meeting on rescue operations and added that two large trawlers have been prepared for rescue operations after the weather condition improves.

The storm also washed away thatched houses in the char areas of Patuakhali.

The Roads and Highways Department in the district said five gangways at Nilganj, Hajipur, Alipur, Haridebpur and Boga went under 4-to-5 feet high water. Vehicle movement was also hampered.

Hundreds of Bangladeshi fishermen die and many go missing in storms in the Bay of Bengal every year.

UNI

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