Bangladesh has reported its first death on May 20 due to cyclone Amphan after a Red Crescent volunteer drowned while evacuating villagers ahead of the landfall. A Bangladesh Red Crescent Society official reportedly said that there were four volunteers on the boat when it capsized.
Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) is a leading national humanitarian organisation which has been supporting evacuation programme and helping people safely bring their valuables with them. Red Crescent had activated their Early Action Protocol in nine most vulnerable coastal districts of Bangladesh based on the projected track and intensity of the cyclone.
“The current COVID-19 crisis is slowing our efforts down, but our volunteers are not stepping back from reaching out to the most vulnerable communities,” said BDRCS Secretary-General Md. Feroz Salah Uddin in a statement.
Bangladesh has shifted over two million people to storm shelters to avoid casualties due to cyclone ‘Amphan’ which is set to make its landfall on May 20. The military has been deployed to tackle the super cyclone as the authorities raised the alert level for some coastal districts to “great danger”.
Bangladeshi Navy has deployed 25 ships and two maritime patrol aircraft to conduct emergency search and rescue operations over the Bay of Bengal and coastal districts in the aftermath of the super cyclone. The meteorologists are banking on Sundarbans to absorb the main brunt of the super cyclone as it has done in the past several times.
Bangladesh's Meteorology Department Director Shamsuddin Ahmed reportedly said that the Sunderbans, world’s largest mangrove forest, always absorbed the brunt of cyclones alongside the Bangladesh-India coastline and they are expecting the forest to face the initial impact of Amphan. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Amphan is now the strongest cyclone ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal, surpassing the 1999 Odisha super cyclone at 260kmph.
(With PTI inputs / Image: Twitter / @BDRCS1)