Death toll rises to nine as cyclone Fani destroys hundreds of homes –

The storm uprooted trees and tore down homes in different districts, killing at least nine people on Saturday.

The authorities were yet to assess the total damage caused by the fierce storm which killed at least 12 people in India on Friday.

As the Bangladesh Meteorological Department or BMD lowered the danger level at maritime ports in the afternoon, officials briefed the media in Dhaka about the storm with signs of ease clear in their face.

“The danger is over,” BMD Director Shamsuddin Ahmed said.

It would take a day to depict a complete picture of the damage, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman said.

Preparedness and weakening of the storm minimised the damage, he said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who had ordered coordination to tackle the storm, also expressed satisfaction over the activities in response to the threat.

Over 1.6 million people were moved to about 4,000 storm shelters in the coastal districts to avoid casualties, but the storm claimed four lives, the state minister said. The people started to return home after the storm ended.

More than 60 people were injured as many families refused to evacuate, according to Rahman. correspondents in six districts reported total nine deaths and collapse of more than 2,000 homes.

Farmers were worried that the storm might damage Boro crops, which are supposed to be harvested in a week.

There was no official account of damage on cropland immediately. Crops on about 11,000 hectares were at risk, State Minister Rahman had said earlier.

Storm surge has flooded dozens of villages, inundating homes and cropland along the coastline in Patuakhali and Bagerhat.

Wind-driven surge of 2-4 feet height above normal astronomical tide is likely in the coastal districts due to new moon phase and pressure gradient, the Met Office said.

The low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Hatiya, Sandwip, Chandpur, Borguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Bagherhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated, it added.

The water resources ministry has set up a control room to get information about breach or collapse of dams. People are requested to call 029540701 anytime to give information. correspondents sent photos of fallen utility poles but the authorities could not confirm how much damage the storm caused to utility services, especially electricity.

Grameenphone said it was experiencing difficulties in ensuring uninterrupted services as the towers in many areas were being fed by power from alternative sources after outage of main lines.

In the latest special bulletin for Fani in the evening, the Met Office said the land deep depression over Pabna-Tangail-Mymensingh region moved north-northeastwards further, weakened into a land depression first and then into a well-marked low over Mymensingh-Netrokona region.

It is likely to move in a north-northeasterly direction further inland and weaken gradually.

Under its influence, the sky remains overcast and rains or thundershowers with gusty or squally winds are continuing in parts of the country. 

Steep pressure gradient persists over the North Bay and for this reason gusty or squally wind speed of about 40-50kmph is likely over North Bay and adjoining coastal areas. 

All fishing boats and trawlers over North Bay and deep sea have been advised to remain in shelter until further notice.


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