News Alerts

20 May 2020 | 09:37 PM UTC

Bangladesh: Cyclone Amphan causes fatalities and infrastructural damage in coastal districts May 20 /update 3

Bangladesh News Alert

At least seven killed as Cyclone Amphan makes landfall on May 20; further strong winds, heavy rain, storm surge, flooding, and associated disruptions likely in the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/20/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/23/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Dhaka). COUNTRY/REGION Bangladesh

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On Wednesday, May 20, at least seven people were killed after Cyclone Amphan made landfall near Sagar Island (India) at around 17:00 (local time). The fatalities were reported in the districts of Barguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Pirojpur, and Satkhira. Low-lying areas in the cyclone's path have reported flooding, the collapse of embankments, and damage to structures. Amphan is currently sustaining winds of between 120-130 kph (75-80 mph) with gusts of as high as 145 kph (90 mph). In Patuakhali district, at least 17 villages in Galachipa, Rangabali, and Kalapara upazilas have been flooded by storm surges.

According to a bulletin issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) at 20:30 on Wednesday, Cyclone Amphan was located over West Bengal state (India) at approximately 22.7°N, 88.6°E and is tracking in a north-northeastwards direction. The Bangladesh Metrological Department (BMD) has issued danger signal number nine (on a ten-tier scale) for the ports of Chattogram and Cox's Bazar and the coastal districts of Chattogram, Cox's Bazar, Cumilla, Feni, and Noakhali. Meanwhile, the BMD has issued danger signal number ten for the ports of Mongla and Payra, as well as for the coastal districts of Bagherhat, Barguna, Barishal, Bhola, Chandpur, Khulna, Laxmipur, Patuakhali, Pirozpur, and Satkhira. The BMD also warned that a storm surge of between 3-4.5 meters (10-15 ft) is possible in these areas. Winds of between 140-160 kph (86-99 mph) are also forecast in these districts. All fishing vessels and trawlers have been advised to return to shore and remain in shelter until further notice.

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.

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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