Indian Navy rescues 33 Bangladeshis as Cyclone Mora killed 9 | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Indian Navy rescues 33 Bangladeshis as Cyclone Mora killed 9

Indian Navy ship Sumitra rescued 27 people who were found adrift at sea over 100 miles away from Bangladeshi city of Chittagong.

world Updated: Jun 18, 2017 17:12 IST
Rohingya refugee children fix the damaged roof of a hut in a makeshift camp in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district after Cyclone Mora made landfall in the region.
Rohingya refugee children fix the damaged roof of a hut in a makeshift camp in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district after Cyclone Mora made landfall in the region. (AFP Photo)

The Indian Navy has rescued 33 people from choppy seas off Bangladesh which was on Wednesday assessing the extent of loss after Cyclone Mora wreaked havoc and killed at least nine persons and left over 50,000 families homeless.

Indian Navy ship Sumitra rescued 33 people who were found adrift in the Bay of Bengal, about 160 kms from Chittagong.

The Eastern Naval Command is deploying P-81 aircraft as part of its rescue operation in Bangladesh.

The cyclone has affected over a quarter million people in the country, the disaster management ministry said.

As many as 286,000 people in 16 coastal districts were affected by the storm, Additional Secretary Golam Mostafa was quoted as saying by bdnews24.

Around 54,500 families have lost properties in the storm as nearly 60,000 houses have been damaged along with 1,592 acres of farmlands, he said.

Cox’s Bazar, the longest unbroken sea beach in the world, bore the brunt of the cyclone, with five people dead, over 20,000 houses destroyed and hundreds of trees uprooted, blocking roads all over the district.

In Bhola district, an infant died while in Rangamati, a woman and a girl were crushed to death when trees fell on their houses. In Bandarban, a man was killed. At least 10 people were injured.

Prime Minister Hasina today appreciated her government, saying a quick response mechanism averted severe casualties and damages.

“We are well capable of managing fallout from disasters. Cyclones and calamities will come. Our job is to take measures to avoid human losses.

“We are lucky as well since the storm hit the land during the ebb tide and as a result the storm surge did not become deadly,” she said in the Parliament.

Hasina said a number of houses and establishments were damaged as well as countless trees were uprooted.

She said: “We are preparing a list of affected people who had lost their houses” to extend hands in rebuilding their houses and establishments damaged by the cyclone.

She also said that two Navy ships have reached Kutubdia and Teknaf which are the worst affected areas to carry out relief operations while helicopters were kept ready to operate in the areas if needed.

Mora, packing winds of up to 150 kilometres per hour, made landfall in the country yesterday, tearing through the southwest districts including low-lying areas.

Authorities spearheaded a massive evacuation campaign as the meteorological department had issued the “great danger signal no 10” in a scale of 10 as the tropical cyclone, brewed in the warm waters of the Bay of Bengal, proceeded towards the country’s coastlines.

Despite low casualty figure, the storm left behind a trail of destruction as thousands of people lost their houses.

Thousands of Rohingya refugees hunkered down in the ruins of their camps waiting for help after a night in the rain with official saying the storm severely ravaged their makeshift shelters in Cox’s Bazar which borders Myanamr.

Authorities in Cox’s Bazar and neighbouring Chittagong district evacuated some 350,000 people from low-lying areas before the storm struck when most Rohingyas remained in their flimsy shelters in the camps.

Officials estimated that about 350,000 Rohingyas took refuge in Bangladesh following a new influx last October, when the Myanmar army launched an offensive in response to insurgent attacks.

The meteorological department yesterday said that the severe cyclonic storm ‘Mora’ moved northward over North Bay and started crossing Cox’s Bazar-Chittagong coast. It was likely to move in a northerly direction further, it said.

All flights were suspended to and from Chittagong international airport and the Cox’s Bazar airports yesterday.

As many as 300,000 people had been taken to shelters in more than 10 districts most vulnerable to the cyclone.

The districts affected with the storm include Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Barisal and Pirojpur.

By late last night, the cyclone began losing strength.

Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader has said that the government has disbursed cash assistance of 18.7 million taka for the affected areas.

Bangladesh is often hit by bad storms between April and December that cause deaths and widespread destruction.

Cyclone Roanu hit the southern coast of Bangladesh last year, leaving 20 people dead and forcing half a million to flee their homes.

The Mora cyclone formed after heavy rains in Sri Lanka caused floods and landslides killing over 200 people.

Indian Navy ship Sumitra rescued 27 people who were found adrift at sea over 100 miles away from Bangladeshi city of Chittagong, Indian Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma said.

The Eastern Naval Command is deploying P-81 aircraft as part of its rescue operation in Bangladesh.

“INS Sumitra operating in the Northern Bay of Bengal rescued 27 survivors found adrift at sea approximately 100 miles south of Chittagong. These include ladies, children and elderly people,” Sharma said.

He said, “Search and rescue for more survivors was hampered due to prevailing rough weather in the area.”

At least six people were killed as cyclone Mora made landfall in Bangladesh on Monday, damaging several houses. Authorities scrambled to evacuate over half a million people from the coastal areas.

All flights were suspended to and from Chittagong and the Cox’s Bazar airports due to the cyclone.

At least 2.5 million people in 10 districts risk falling in the way of the severe cyclonic storm.

The districts at risk were Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Barisal and Pirojpur.

On Tuesday, Bangladesh meteorological department had said the severe cyclonic storm ‘Mora’ moved northward over North Bay and started crossing Cox’s Bazar- Chittagong coast at 6:00am (local time). It is likely to move in a northerly direction further, the MeT said.