Cyclone Hamoon plunges Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar into darkness
Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar are grappling with the aftermath of Cyclone Hamoon, which swept through the coastal areas Tuesday night.
Four people have died – three in Cox’s Bazar and one in Chattogram since the storm struck.
Due to the gusty winds and rain in the coastal region, many areas are now experiencing power outages and mobile network disruptions. Communication on some roads has also been hampered due to uprooted trees and the destruction of hundreds of homes.
In Chattogram’s Banshkhali upazila, Momtaz Begum, in her 60s, was crushed by a tree while heading to a cyclone shelter, said Hafez Ahmed, deputy director of the Chattogram Cyclone Preparedness Programme.
Cyclone Hamoon damaged approximately 6,944 homes. Power transmission in Banshkhali has been disrupted by the uprooting of 507 power poles. However, no such damage was reported in other upazilas of Chattogram, he added.
Three people lost their lives in Cox’s Bazar, and hundreds were injured as the cyclone made landfall in the coastal areas around 10 pm Tuesday.
“Cyclone Hamoon destroyed 38,000 homes in Cox’s Bazar district. At least 480,000 people in 70 unions and two municipalities across nine upazilas were affected,” said Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shahin Imran on Wednesday evening.
“The electricity lines suffered the most damage in the cyclone. Power has been restored in parts of Cox’s Bazar city, but other affected areas are still without electricity,” he added.
“Mobile network service began returning to normal after 15 hours on Wednesday afternoon. However, issues with incoming and outgoing phone calls persist,” he mentioned.
Abdul Quader Gani, executive engineer of the Cox’s Bazar Electricity Department, commented, “Three sub-stations have been commissioned, and restoration work on the main roads has commenced. We expect to restore electricity on the main road within the next 24 hours and throughout Cox’s Bazar in at least two days.”
Cox’s Bazar Municipality Mayor Mahabubur Rahman Chowdhury reported that 5,500 homes were destroyed, and another 9,500 suffered partial damage in the city.
“We’ve provided 150 families with tin and funds to rebuild homes quickly. We will continue to support others in phases,” he added.
Water Transportation Resumes
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) resumed operations on all inland waterways after a 22-hour halt in anticipation of Cyclone Hamoon’s landfall.
Launches began servicing all domestic routes from 8 am. Speedboats and cargo ships also resumed operations, confirmed Riad Hossain, deputy director of the Naval Safety and Traffic Management Department at Barisal River Port.
Operations at Chattogram port returned to normal yesterday as the danger signal was lowered. Other maritime ports have also been advised to reduce their warning signals.
On Wednesday morning, 13 ships from deep sea were docked at the jetty. The remainder will dock in the afternoon, according to Chittagong Port Authority Secretary Md Omar Farooq. Although product unloading was paused for a day, the delivery process continued, he added.