Titli intensifies into severe cyclonic storm

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PNS Desk: “Titli” has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm with a “Core of Hurricane Wind” over the west-central Bay of Bengal and adjoining northwest Bay.

Maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Mongla and Payra were advised to keep hoisted distant cautionary signal No 4, according to a Met Office special bulletin issued on Wednesday, reports UNB.

The bulletin said the storm was centring about 880kms southwest of Chittagong port, 850kms southwest of Cox's Bazar, 720kms southwest of Mongla and 740kms southwest of Payra at 6pm.

It is likely to intensify further and move in a north/north-westerly direction.

The maximum sustained wind speed within 44km of the severe cyclone centre is about 120kph, and rising to 140kph in gusts/squalls. The sea will remain very rough near the system centre, according to the bulletin.

All the fishing boats and trawlers over the north bay and deep sea were advised to remain in shelter till further notice.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) suspended operation of all types of water vessels across the country due to the formation of the cyclonic storm.

BIWTA spokesperson Mobarak Hossain said that plying of launches, ferries and speedboats would remain suspended on all the waterways till further notice.

In Chittagong, loading and unloading of goods from ships also remained suspended at the outer anchorage of the seaport since Wednesday morning as “Titli” intensified into a severe cyclonic storm.

Chittagong Port Authority’s Secretary Md Omar Faruk confirmed that the suspension was in effect since 10am.

However, the activities at the container jetty remained normal.

Preparations in Bagerhat, Khulna

Bagerhat district’s Deputy Commissioner (DC) Tapan Kumar Biswas on Wednesday said that all upazila nirbahi officers (UNOs) were kept alert and control rooms opened in all the upazilas.

In Khulna, a meeting of the district’s Disaster Management Committee held at the DC's office at noon also informed that 242 shelter centres and medical teams were ready to face the possible disaster.

Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) earlier in the day also cancelled the leaves of its officials and employees in different parts of the country.

An official order, signed by BWDB Deputy Secretary (administration) Obaidul Islam, had directed all of its officials and employees to remain present at their workplaces on holidays too.

PNS/Tamanna Khan