Bangladesh met office on Wednesday warned that the country, largely spared by the severe cyclonic storm ‘Yaas’, could still see the impact of the weather system under the influence of the full moon phase. Cyclone Yaas intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm on Tuesday evening in India. The states of West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand evacuated over 12 lakh people to storm shelters.
“Under the influence of steep pressure gradient and the full moon phase, the low lying areas of the (coastline) districts in Bangladesh… are likely to be inundated by 3-4 feet height above normal astronomical tide," Bangladesh met office said in a bulletin. The bulletin, issued on Wednesday, lowered the local cautionary signal number 2 from 3 in a scale of 11 for southern Chattagram, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra seaports, their adjoining areas and islands.
It said those areas could witness gusty winds with a speed of 60 to 80 kilometers per hour alongside “heavy to very heavy" downpours and simultaneously asked all fishing boats and trawlers on the north bay and deep sea to remain in shelters until further notice. The met office said Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhghat, Jhalakathi, Pirozpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Bartisal, Bhola, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur and Chattogram districts would come under the purview of its warning.
State minister for disaster management and relief Dr Enamur Rahman, meanwhile, told a media briefing that though the “Yass" largely spared the coastlines of Bangladesh coastlines. He said official assessments were underway to gauge the cyclone damage while field level reports suggested the tidal surges levelled or washed away hundreds of homes and other vulnerable structures and cattle, splitting the coastal embankments at many places.
“This was the worst flooding we saw since 2008," a resident of southwestern Bhola told a TV channel. According to the junior minister 20,000 people were evacuated to cyclone shelters in Bangladesh coastlines while most of them returned home by now.