CALCUTTA | millions of people are preparing Tuesday to the Bangladesh and in the east of India to the arrival of the cyclone Amphan, one of the most powerful of recent years, in a context complicated by the pandemic of sars coronavirus.
Amphan is expected to touch land in the north of the bay of Bengal on Wednesday afternoon or evening, with winds of up to 180 km/h and a high storm surge, according to forecasters.
The authorities fear that this cyclone is the strongest to hit the region since Sidr, which killed nearly 3 500 people in 2007 — mainly in floods.
The countries of the region have, however, learned the lessons of the devastating cyclones of the previous decades. They have built these past few years thousands of shelters for the population, and developed political evacuation quick and practiced.
In Bangladesh, “we are going to evacuate up to 2.2 millions (of people) and try that there is zero death”, said to AFP Enamur Rahman, the secretary of State the disaster management. The evacuations take place in coastal areas of low elevation, are particularly vulnerable to a sudden rise of the sea.
Due to the pandemic of sars coronavirus, Dhaka has doubled the number of cyclone shelters available, so that the displaced are more widely spaced, and will require the use of the mask. “We also keep parts separate isolation in the shelter for any patient contaminated” by the new coronavirus, added Mr. Rahman.
The coast guard of bangladesh are participating in the evacuation of thousands of people living on isolated islands. The fishing boats were ordered to return to earth, and the ports close.
But “the inhabitants of the coastal areas of Bangladesh are facing an impossible choice,” said Snigdha Chakraborty of the NGO Catholic Relief Services.
“Space is limited in shelters evacuation and people who are confined because of the COVID-19 may be reluctant to leave their homes less secure to get at a shelter in central — and possibly crowded”, she said in a statement.
In India, more than 200,000 people are being evacuated in the State of west Bengal and another 20,000 have been put in security in the neighbouring region of Odisha.
In the area of mangrove forest of Sundarbans, west Bengal, speakers call the inhabitants “to wear a mask and to maintain the detachment physics in the shelters,” reported the AFP Arjun Manna of the world wide Fund for nature (WWF).
In Odisha, the authorities have provided enough shelters to accommodate up to 1.1 million people if necessary. “We arranged to have soap, water tanks for hand washing and masks”, indicated to the AFP Pradeep Kumar Jena, head of the State.