Laila spreads panic in coast
On hearing the news of the approaching cyclone Laila, panic has gripped the inhabitants living on the coastal belt who are still traumatised by the daunting memories of Aila and Sidr.
Though Laila is hovering more than 1,000km away, people who are still haunted by the memories. Thousands of people from Satkhira, Khulna and Bagerhat districts have been living on flood protection embankments for one whole year since cyclone Aila destroyed their homes.
Authorities said they have taken all possible measures to save the Aila victims from the effects of Laila, if it strikes.
The cyclone remains in the southwest slightly turning northwest towards the Indian coast. However, it is gathering pace and currently positioned 1,310km southwest of Chittagong Port, 1,250km southwest of Cox's Bazar Port and 1,180km south-southwest of Mongla Port, said a special bulletin released by the Met Office at 3:00pm yesterday.
The sea remains turbulent and all fishing boats are advised to remain close to the coast and proceed with caution, the bulletin said.
It is likely to intensify further and move in a north-westerly direction, the bulletin said. Met Office has advised the authorities to keep hoisted maritime signal number two in the ports of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Mongla.
Maximum sustained wind speed within 54km of the depression centre is about 62kph rising to 88kph in gusts or squalls.
Around 2,000 trawlers from Patuakhali and another 6,000 from Cox's Bazar have started to return towards the shore following the cautionary signal.
Quoting a fisherman from Patuakhali, our correspondent reports: cyclone victims from this area become terrified on hearing news of an impending cyclone.
Joynal Khan, a fishernan of Uttar Amkhola village under Galachipa upazila said the last two cyclones caused a lot of damage to their properties and crops and that they would not survive another one.
Our Khulna correspondent said cyclone Aila hit the area on May last year and made around one lakh people homeless.
All possible steps are being taken to save the Aila affected people if another cyclone hits the coast, said upazila nirbahi officers of Koira, Paikgacha and Dakop of Khulna, and Sharankhola and Morrelganj upazilas of Bagerhat district.