All activities at the seaport in Chittagong remain suspended as Cyclone Mahasen reached closer to the coastline of Bangladesh on Wednesday. Photo: Banglar Chokh
The Chittagong Port Authority has put the port on ‘own alert’ No. 3, the second highest security alert, as cyclone Mahasen reached within around 700 kilometers coastline of Bangladesh on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) also suspended launch services for indefinite period between Dhaka to Barisal and Chandpur to Dhaka routes since Wednesday morning in the wake of the approach of the cyclone.
The cyclone prompted the Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar ports authorities to hoist signal No. 7 and Mongla port officials to raise signal No. 5.
The launch services remained suspended as Mahasen may hit the coastal districts including Barisal and Chandpur, said BIWTA officials.
Loading and unloading activities in the port were stopped since the morning, reported our Chittagong correspondent.
A total of 44 cargo barges, which are now at the outer anchorage, will remain there as the place is safe, CPA Secretary Syed Farhad Uddin Ahmed told The Daily Star.
Mahasen is likely to cross the coastline of the country by early Thursday.
A total of 21 vessels anchored in the jetty were shifted to the outer anchorage, said Cap Nazmul Alam, deputy conservator of CPA.
On the other hand, the 44 cargo barges, which are now at the outer anchorage, will remain there as the place is safe, Farhad added.
BIWTA authorities suspended launch services between Dhaka and Barisal since the morning.
The launch services on the route will remain suspended until further notice, reports our Barisal correspondent quoting Abul Bashar Mia, deputy director (Marine Safety and Traffic) of BIWTA.
The announcement came after a meeting between BIWTA officials and launch owners in the capital.
According to a special bulleting of the met office, Barisal will come under danger signal number seven.
BIWTA authorities suspended launch services between Chandpur to Dhaka and Chandpur to Narayanganj till further notice, reported our Chandpur correspondent.
As a coastal district Chandpur will come under danger signal number seven, said Shamsul Haque, acting officer of Chandpur met office.
Storm surge of 5-7 feet height may inundate the district if the cyclone hits, said Shamsul Haque.
Local administration has taken initiatives to face the situation following the cyclone, our correspondent added.
A control room for Disaster Management and Relief at deputy commissioner's office has been opened for the locals.
Other coastal districts of Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Bhola, Borguna, Patuakhali and their offshore islands and chars will come under danger signal number seven.