This is the 3rd update from us. Below are our latest preparedness activities to face the cyclone Mahasen.
(i) We have successfully transported around 52 tons of emergency biscuits yesterday to the islands of Kutubdia and Moheskhali with the support of Cox’s Bazar police. As the Mognama-Pekua connecting bridge has been broken down and Kutubdia channel is very rough, the transportation took until late night. The biscuits have been provided by WFP.
(ii) We have deployed 12 of our senior staffs to the upazilas in Cox’s Bazar Yesterday (14th May). We have 350 field staffs in 25 branches out there. We have had emergency meeting with the UNO (Upazila Executive Officer) and the Union Council Chairmen in Monpura and Charfassion in Bhola.
We have initiated to clean up the local cyclone shelters to make them ready to accommodate community people when the cyclone breaks out. We also have initiated to announce the cyclone alerts in different communities with the support of Upazila administration and it is still going on. To provide necessary communication support to the upazila administration during disaster we have successfully established a VHF wireless station in Kutubdia. The wireless radio station is keeping track our boat plying in Kutubdia channel for rescue assistance.
(iii) We have started to assist the local administration to evacuate the people from remote and exposed areas to the safe shelters since the morning today. So far, our teams have evacuated people from Shahaporir Dwip to Teknaf, from Jaliapalong to Ukhia, from Shomiti Para to Cox’s Bazar, from Sonadia and Ghotivanga to Moheskali and from Tabalarchar and Kudiertek to Kutubdia. Necessary arrangements have mobilized to provide food and water to the people in the cyclone shelters tonight. All the initiatives are being financed by our own fund. We have provided some essential rescue equipment like megaphones, raincoats and flashlights as required from the Upazila administration.
(iv) We have published an advertisement in a local newspaper in Cox’ Bazar on 15th May 2013 with emergency phone numbers and the list of contact persons who will be responsible for the concerned sub districts.We encourage people as well as government officials to directly communicate with them for exchanging information. We also have given a statement yesterday urging the political leaders to keep coastal areas out of strikes and other political turmoil and the statement has been published in some national daily newspapers. These are also available in our web site (www.coastbd.org).
(v) Our colleague Mr. Moqbul Ahmed, the Regional Team Leader (+8801713328828) is coordinating the whole operation from Cox’s Bazar accompanied by our executive director Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury (+8801711529792). In Dhaka, the operation is being coordinated by Sanat K. Bhowmik, the Director (+8801711881662). Please feel free to communicate with them whenever necessary.
(iv) COAST is giving the highest importance to the next 48 hours as the cyclone Mahasen is forecasted to landfall the coastline of Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf by this time. Tonight 2.00 am is the next high tide point in the sea. The weather in Teknaf could be comparatively worse than other places in Cox’s Bazar. We will be alert and standby through the night keeping in touch with the local administration and being prepared for next stages.