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19 May 2020 | 09:49 AM UTC

Bangladesh: Millions evacuated from coastal areas due to approach of Cyclone Amphan May 19 /update 2

Bangladesh News Alert

Authorities to evacuate up to two million people from coastal areas due to the approaching Cyclone Amphan May 19; heavy rains, strong winds, and associated disruptions possible in the coming days

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/19/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/23/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Dhaka). COUNTRY/REGION Bangladesh

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On Tuesday, May 19, Bangladesh disaster management secretary Shah Kamal announced that up to two million residents in low-lying coastal areas would be evacuated due to the approach of Cyclone Amphan. Kamal added that 12,078 shelters were being prepared to avoid crowding amid fears over the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). District administrations in 19 vulnerable coastal districts have been asked to take all necessary measures to save lives.

According to the latest bulletin from the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD), at 12:00 (local time) on Tuesday, Super Cyclone Amphan was located over the West Central Bay of Bengal at approximately 16.8°N, 86.9°E and is likely to track north-north-eastwards across the bay and cross the Bangladesh coast between Khulna and Chattogram districts from late night Tuesday to Wednesday evening, May 20. The BMD has issued a warning signal for coastal areas, with the ports of Mongla, and Payra, and the coastal districts of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagherhat, Jhalokathi, Pirozpur, Borguna, Patukhali, Bhola, Barishal, Laxmipur, Chandpur, and their offshore islands and chars, being under danger signal number seven (on a ten signal tier). The ports of Chattogram and Cox's Bazar, and the districts of Noakhali, Feni, Chattogram, and Cox's Bazar will be under danger signal number six. A storm surge of 1.5 to 3 meters (5 to 10 ft) is possible in all the aforementioned districts and winds of up to 160kph (99 mph) are forecast. All fishing vessels and trawlers have been advised to return to shore and remain in shelter until further notice.

Damage to insecure shelters, powerlines, and transport links are possible during the passing of the storm system. Associated flooding, landslides, and transportation and business disruptions are anticipated in coastal districts, as well as disruptions to power and communications services in the coming days.


Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate continuing disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and never drive through flooded streets; floodwater may also contain wastewater and chemical products.


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