In preparation for Cyclone Mocha, Chittagong’s five coastal upazilas have initiated comprehensive protective measures, establishing numerous shelters and mobilizing approximately 7,000 volunteers.
Deputy Commissioner Abul Bashar Mohammed Fakhruzzaman said emergency cash and supplies have been distributed across 15 upazilas, with a particular focus on five – Banskhali, Anwara, Sitakunda, Sandwip and Mirsharai – that could be especially vulnerable to cyclone damage.
He stated: “We have provided rice and cash assistance across 15 upazilas to address basic needs in the event of a disaster. Existing shelters are ready for use, and we have directed the upazila nirbahi officers (UNOs) as well as district secondary and primary education officers to prepare various educational institutions for use as additional shelters.”
Banskhali UNO Syduzzaman Chowdhury said: “We have set up 110 shelters in the coastal areas of the upazila’s Chanua, Khankhanabad, Gandamara, Saral, Baharchhara, Katharia, Sadhanpur, Pukuria, Puichhari, Shekerkhil, Shilkup and other areas. We have instructed officials from relevant authorities to recall all fishermen currently at sea. There are 420 volunteers in 71 units across the upazila’s ten unions, ready for deployment.”
He added: “We have issued instructions for broadcasting warnings in coastal and hilly regions. In addition, the Islamic Foundation has arranged for all imams to discuss the impending cyclone during Friday prayers in all mosques.”
When contacted, Anwara UNO Md Ishtiaque Ymon, revealed: “We have readied a thousand volunteers in the coastal unions in preparation for the cyclone. Additionally, we have 58 shelters set up, and the district administration has supplied cash and food. We are raising awareness by broadcasting warnings.”
Sitakunda UNO Md Shahadat Hossain said: “We have arranged 67 shelters to deal with the disaster. Additionally, several educational institutions and government-private buildings have been prepared. We have readied 12 medical teams to provide immediate assistance in the aftermath of the disaster. Over a thousand volunteers from various groups are on standby.”
Sandwip UNO Samrat Khisa stated: “We have readied a total of 162 shelters, including secondary schools, madrasas and colleges, in the upazila, in addition to 112 cyclone shelters. As part of our cyclone preparedness activities, 3,000 volunteers are ready for action. Members of the Red Crescent Youth are also prepared. We have ample dry food and fresh water available.”