Bulbul may hit the south-western coast – Khulna and Sundarbans – on Saturday afternoon; 349 cyclone shelter centres have been prepared
Khulna is suffering constant rain as an effect of cyclone Bulbul in the Bay of Bengal.
Light to moderate rain has been persistent since Friday afternoon in the coastal district. The sun has disappeared behind dark clouds since morning.
According to the Khulna met office, four millimetres of rain was recorded on Friday.
Local festival Rashmela in Sundarbans' Dublar Char has been postponed due to adverse weather. As a result, six vessels carrying visitors to the fair from Khulna have turned back from Mongla, locals said.
The district authorities have opened 10 control rooms in Khulna and nine adjacent upazilas to avoid loss and damage from the looming storm.
An emergency meeting of the district Disaster Management Committee took place at the Khulna Circuit House conference room on Friday. All vacations of the government employees in the region have been cancelled and ordered to remain stationed until further notice.
All the upazila nirbahi officers have been instructed to raise awareness in the mass population. The authorities have also prepared 349 cyclone shelter centres made with the government and private initiative.
The farmers of the region were worried about their paddy fields as the crop in most of the fields is yet to be ready for harvest.
According to weather experts, cyclone Bulbul may hit the south-western coast – Khulna and Sundarbans – on Saturday afternoon. They said the powerful cyclone may be somewhat weaker before hitting the coastal area.
The weather department said the Bay of Bengal remains rough because of the cyclone. Mongla seaport has been instructed to hoist cautionary signal number 4. The vessels in the sea have been directed to retreat to the shore.
Relief and Rehabilitation Officer of Khulna Azizul Haq Joardar said, "A meeting of the district disaster management committee took place, instructions were given for taking steps to avoid losses."
Khulna District Commissioner (DC) Mohammad Helal Hossain presided over the meeting. "Leaves of all government employees have been cancelled and 349 shelter centres have been opened to cope with the cyclone."
"There are also control rooms set up in each of the costal upazilas, medical teams, fire service, Red Crescent, NGOs and hundreds of volunteers are also ready. Fishermen have been ordered to desist from fishing and move to safety. Announcements are being made to raise awareness," Helal further added.