135 fishermen feared missing

The scale of destruction caused by Mora has started to emerge bit by bit, with rescuers pulling cyclone survivors out of waters in deep sea and relief officers assessing the damages.
Since the severe cyclonic storm crossed the country’s southeastern coast in the afternoon, rescuers from Bangladesh Navy and relatives of the missing sailed to the sea looking for cyclone survivors.
At least 63 people were pulled out of the waters in the sea.
As many as 20 of the survivors were floating on the waters in the deep sea near Kutubdia island, where the cyclone made its landfall with a wind speed of 139 km per hour Tuesday morning.
The survivors had their boat destroyed by the storm. They managed to stay afloat by holding boat-planks.
An ISPR press release said that the survivors were in good condition.
The navy was using 15 ships, a chopper and a maritime patrol aircraft for conducting the search, said the press release.
An Indian Navy ship, INS Sumitra, which was sailing to Chittagong, came across a group of cyclone survivors afloat on the waters in sea 90 nautical miles off Maheshkhali island in Cox’s Bazar, according to Indian high commission.
They rescued 33 people, mostly residents of Maheshkhali, and pulled a body out of the waters. The death toll from the cyclone rose to eight with this.
The Indian navy was looking for more survivors in the adjacent area.
Chittagong deputy commissioner Jillur Rahman Chowdhury said they could not confirm the incident until the ship anchored.
Foreign ministry maritime affairs secretary Khurshed Alam, however, confirmed that an Indian navy ship loaded with relief materials was on its way to Chittagong.
From the waters near Sonadia island, ten fishermen were rescued by their families, reported our Cox’s Bazar correspondent.
About 135 fishermen from different areas in the Cox’s Bazar are feared missing.
General secretary of Cox’s Bazar mechanised fishing boat owners’ association Mostaque Ahmed said fishermen had left in nine fishing boats and did not return.
The missing fishermen are from Cox’s Bazar town, Moheskhali and
Meanwhile, those who had their houses destroyed by the storm were struggling to rebuild them amid a lack of supply of construction materials.
‘People are scavenging debris to get the materials they need for rebuilding their houses,’ said MA Rahman Jehadi, a resident of Saint Martin’s Island.
According to him, three-fourths of the houses in the island were destroyed in the storm.
Many people in Chittagong’s Banshkhali and Swandip areas were living under the open sky as they failed to rebuild their houses destroyed in the storm.
Banshkhali upazila nirbahi officer Kazi Chahel Tostory said the people were finding it difficult to get help in rebuilding their homes.
He said he was working to write to the government, seeking financial assistance for the people.
Kabir Ahmed, 55, a resident of Khudukkhali area of the upazila, was preparing his family to live under the open sky until help came.
‘I simply cannot afford to build a house. I am too poor to afford that,’ said Kabir.
About 60,000 houses were damaged in Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar and Satkhira, according to a preliminary estimate by the disaster management department.
Cox’s Bazar was the worst-hit area where about a quarter million of people were estimated to have been affected by Mora. About 14,250 people were affected by the cyclone in Chittagong.
The UNHCR said at least 20 per cent of the houses of Rohingyas living in the districts were completely damaged in the storm.
The sufferings of the people is going to linger as the cyclone brought the monsoon two days earlier with heavy rainfall being recorded in the coastal region.
Many of the areas have gone under knee-deep water. Many areas in the districts are also without power since the cyclone damaged dozens of transformers.
Bangladesh Meteorological Department said areas in Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar would experience heavy rainfall over the next 24 hours.
Cox’s Bazar deputy commissioner Ali Hossain said that they already distributed 143 tonnes of rice and Tk 10.50 lakh to the cyclone-affected people in the district.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party Chairperson Khaleda Zia urged the government to scale up its rescue effort and ensure that the cyclone victims get safe drinking water, medicine and relief materials immediately.
She also urged her party leaders and activists and affluent people of society to stand by the Mora-hit people.
The ISPR said the Bangladesh Navy was distributing five tonnes of rice, 2 tonnes of lentils, 3 tonnes of puffed rice, 8 tonnes of flattened rice, 2 tonnes of molasses, and candles, matches and water.
In the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar, non-government organisation Mukti with the assistance from f World Food Programme distributed 33 tonnes of dry food to 8,400 Rohingyas.

Source: New Age


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