World's largest mangrove forest Sundarbans shielded thousands of people of the coastal district during cyclone Bulbul just six months ago.
In 2007, it had saved them from cyclones Sidr and from Aila in 2009. The forest has been saving the coastal districts from various cyclonic storms over past decades.
And now Sundarbans is bracing severe cyclonic storm Amphan today evening. Will it save them again?
When asked, Professor Dr Ainun Nishat, environment and climate change specialist, said, "As per the movement of the Amphan, this time it will not hit the Sundarbans much."
"The forest will weaken the speed of the cyclone if it comes through land and hit the mangrove forest. But it will be disastrous if the cyclone hit through the rivers," he added.
However, he expressed concern that the cyclone is going to hit Bangladesh coastlines at the 9-10 pm, when the rivers will be on full tide.
"If the cyclone hits during the full tide, Satkhira district will be inundated after collapsing most of the river dams," Dr Ainun Nishat said further.
On the other hand, Dr Md. Anwarul Islam, the chief executive of WildTeam and former professor of department of zoology at University of Dhaka said that Sundarbans has been the prime defense to the country.
"Every cyclone left the forest totally destroyed, but after every disaster the forest gets greener within few months."
He believes that this time Sundarbans will also be the country's main strength to face the cyclone.
The cyclone Amphan was centred about 480 km southwest of Chattogram port, 470 km southwest of Cox's Bazar port, 290 km south-southwest of Mongla port and 320 km south-southwest of Payra port at 12:30pm today (May 20).
Bangladesh's Met office advised maritime ports Payra and Mongla to hoist great danger signal number 10 while Chattogram and Cox's Bazar asked to hoist great signal 9.
Thousands of people have been taken to the shelter centres of the coastal districts. Medical teams, emergency response teams and Armed forces are ready to start work as the cyclone hits the coastal belt.