Cyclone Roanu hits Bangladesh; 5 dead, thousands evacuated

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Dhaka, May 21: Tens of thousands of Bangladeshis fled to safety as cyclone Roanu on Saturday made a landfall at the country's southern coast, with stormy winds and incessant downpour, that triggered landslides, killing five persons and injuring over 100 others.

With a wind speed of up to kilometres per hour while heading east-northeastward, the cyclone hit the Barisal-Chittagong region, sending impacts across the country.

 

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Most places of the country witnessed rain and thunder showers accompanied by temporary gusty and squally wind since early morning.

At least five persons were killed and over 100 injured as the advancing cyclone had started ravaging the southern coastlines.

Officials and reports said that under the peripheral impact of the cyclone, codenamed Roanu, stormy winds levelled several hundred village huts in southwestern coastal Bhola leaving two dead and over 100 wounded indicating the cyclone was advancing with intensified wraths.

A minor child and a woman in Bhola appeared to be the first victims of the cyclone, which continued to advance keeping an edge with the coastlines from the southwesterly direction towards the southwest, turning the sea very rough.

Incessant downpour under the influence of the brewing cyclone caused landslides in southeastern port city of Chittagong, killing a minor girl and her mother. The fifth death was reported from southwestern Patuakhali.

In Patuakhali, over 300 families have been waterlogged as strong tidal waves caused the damn in Rangabali to break. Road communications have been disrupted after strong winds uprooted trees blocking highways, local media reported.

The Shah Amanat International Airport, Chittagong suspended all of its flight operations due to Roanu.

Very to very heavy falls may occur at places over Dhaka, Khulna, Barisal, Chittagong and Sylhet divisions, according to a Met office bulletin issued in Dhaka.

On Friday, the Met office issued a warning of 7 on a scale of 10 for three of the four main seaports.

Authorities earlier launched a massive evacuation campaign in southern coastlines mobilising rescue teams, saying thousands were moved to cyclone shelters already as they expected nearly 21,50,000 people in 13 most vulnerable coastal districts to be shifted to safety before the cyclone hit the coast with its full wrath.

The government has taken all the preparations for a possible cyclone impact, Relief and Disaster Management Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya said.

"We have taken all the preparations to face the situation Roanu might cause," he briefed reporters at Disaster Management Department on Saturday.

PTI

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