The "very severe" Cyclone Bulbul weakened to a "severe" storm as it started crossing the Khulna-West Bengal coast on Saturday night but was still gusting with a maximum wind speed of 120 kilometers per hour.
A special bulletin of the Met office said the cyclone moved northwestwards at a speed of about 8 kph and it is lying over the northwest bay and adjoining coastal areas of Gangetic West Bengal and southwestern part of Bangladesh.
It is likely to move in a northeasterly direction further, weaken gradually and may complete crossing the West Bengal-Khulna coast by early Sunday. Bulbul on its way out of Bangladesh before entering West Bengal smashed at least 7 houses at Bhola's Lalmohan and Char Fashion upazila, local sources said.
Some 14 fishermen got stranded at Thengor Char in Char Fashion upazila of Bhola after their water vessel's engine broke down and at least 150 fishermen in Bhola, Barguna and Patuakhali were missing till last night. On St Martin's Island, over 1,000 tourists, remained stuck due to the cyclone.
Meanwhile, cyclonic storm Bulbul lashed the Indian coasts of Odisha as it was approaching the Sundarbans delta on the Bangladesh-West Bengal shorelines. It has reportedly caused two deaths in India.
The coastal districts of Khulna, Satkhira, Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Bhola, Pirojpur,
Jhalskathi, Bagerhat and their offshore islands and chars are likely to experience wind speed of up to 80-100kph in gusts or squalls with heavy to very heavy falls during the passage of the storm, the Met Office warned.
Besides the maritime ports of Mongla and Payra, Great Danger Signal No. 10 have beening hoisted in the coastal districts of Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira and their offshore islands and chars.
Chattogram port and the nearby districts have been asked to hoist Great Danger Signal No. 9.
Great Danger Signal No. 10 is the maximum warning level the BMD issues when it fears the worst havoc. Another warning level beyond the maximum is there for any situation when a disaster causes total disconnection of an affected area.
Over 1.8 million people in the vulnerable coastal districts were evacuated to 4,071 cyclone shelters. More than 55,000 volunteers were working for the evacuation in the costal districts.
The government weekly holiday of Saturday and that of Eid-e-Mildunnabi on Sunday have been cancelled for the government employees in the seven vulnerable districts and six others, which are Noakhali, Feni, Laxmipur, Chandpur, Cox's Bazar, and Chattogram.
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