Office of the UN Resident Coordinator – Flash Update No. 2 – Bangladesh | 2019 Severe Cyclonic Storm “Fani” – Bangladesh – ReliefWeb

4 May 2019: According to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department’s (BMD) Special Weather Bulletin No. 45, severe cyclonic storm “Fani” weakened into a deep depression located over the Paban-Tangail-Mymensingh region and adjoining area. Under the influence of “Fani,” the sky remains overcast and rain/thunder showers with gusty/squally wind is continuing at many locations throughout the country. Presently, windspeed of about 50-60 kilometers per hour is likely at many locations around the country, while windspeed of about 40-50 kilometers per hour is likely over the North Bay area. Under the influence “Fani” and the new moon phase, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Borguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirozpur, Jhalokathi, Bagherhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars, are likely to be inundated by storm surges of two to four feet in height above normal astronomical tide levels. The whole country will experience heavy rainfall and storms today. After making landfall in Bangladesh, “Fani” will move towards Assam. “Though it weakened, Fani is still is a very severe cyclone. The whole country will experience rainfall and cyclonic storm on 4-5 May 2019,” said BMD’s Director Shamsuddin Ahmed.

The special report from Bangladesh’s Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre, released on 3 May, anticipated risks of flooding and flash floods in the North/North-East districts of Jessore, Kustia,
Rajshahi, Bogura and Natore, with heavy rainfall and potential flash flooding within the next 72 hours.

At a press conference, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR) informed that 4,071 cyclone shelters in 19 coastal districts were prepared to shelter 2.1 million to 2.5 million persons. The MoDMR’s State Minister stated that 1,240,795 people from coastal regions were evacuated on 3 May to cyclone shelters, where dry food, medicine and drinking water was provided. All evacuees were requested to return home today. To date, the MoDMR has distributed 19-plus tons of rice, 50 million Bangladeshi Taka in cash assistance and distributed 41,000 dry food rations. A total of 32 naval vessels are positioned in Chittagong, Khulna, and Mongla to provide emergency relief and medical assistance. The operations of all civilian water vessels are still suspended until further notice. The Bangladesh Navy is currently undertaking a relief operation for thousands of people isolated on a char in Bhola, a district which has been severely impacted by the cyclone.

The Ministry of Health has informed that, so far, 14 people have lost their lives and that 43 people were injured, primarily due to lightning strikes and fallen trees in different parts of the country. In Barishal, most of the fishing boats which ventured into the deep sea have not yet returned to shore.


  • In Bagerhat, a 200-metre-wide embankment collapsed. Also, at least three villages in Bagerhat’s Shoronkhola area were flooded.

  • In Patuakhali, at least 17 villages were flooded due to the collapse of dykes in Kalapara, Mirzagonj and Rangabali, following the impact of the tidal surge. Standing crops in different districts were damaged.

  • In Cox’s Bazar’s remote island of Kutubdia, at least 20 villages were inundated.

  • In Bhola, more than 200 homes were destroyed.

  • In Gopalganj, farmers are at risk of losing their crops due to the looming threat of floods.

In the refugee camps, several shelters, latrines and health facilities were affected. Preliminary reports estimate that nearly 900 refugees were affected, including 211 who were displaced. BMD Special Weather Bulletin 45 announced that “Fani” had weakened into a deep depression, which triggered a lowering of the warning signal in Cox’s Bazar to Distant Cautionary Signal 3. As a result, the alert system in the camps also lowered its single flag warning.

While the impact of “Fani” is still unfolding in the North/North-East of the country, so far, the significant preparedness and immediate response measures taken by the authorities, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and volunteers have limited the loss of lives and the damage to property and infrastructure. However, immediate high risks remain as well as short/medium-term risks related to the possible loss of livelihood due to the impact of the cyclone which coincides with the early stage of the annual monsoon season.

The humanitarian community is monitoring the overall situation – in close collaboration with the national authorities and their partners – and is supporting the conveying of safety precautions to the communities at risk.

Today, the Director General of the Department of Disaster Management hosted a meeting with the members of the Needs Assessment Working Group. A detailed joint analytical report on the impact of the cyclone will be produced in 72 hours, starting tomorrow. Based on the report and, in agreement with the authorities, possible complementary response support from the humanitarian community will be discussed and agreed upon.


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