Bangladesh moves Rohingya to island shelters as huge cyclone nears

DHAKA/COX’S BAZAR (Reuters) – Authorities in Bangladesh have moved a whole bunch of Rohingya refugees dwelling on a flood-prone island within the Bay of Bengal to storm shelters as tremendous cyclone Amphan, the strongest recorded within the area, barrels down, they stated on Wednesday.

Preparations are underway for Cyclone Amphan in a Rohingya refugee camp exterior the port city of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, May 20, 2020. REUTERS/Sabbir Ahmed

The jap fringe of the storm headed for Bangladesh and neighbouring India is predicted to batter Bhasan Char island, the place 306 Rohingya, members of a persecuted minority from Myanmar, have been despatched this month after being rescued from boats.

“Each block has a cyclone centre and they have been moved to the centre,” stated Bimal Chakma, a senior official of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission.

The United Nations has referred to as for the refugees to be moved to the mainland to be part of greater than one million extra who dwell in sprawling camps exterior the city of Cox’s Bazar.

Although that settlement, the world’s largest refugee camp, is predicted to escape the worst of the storm, the hazard stage has been raised to 9 from six, signifying a extreme menace.

Heavy rain and excessive winds lashed the flimsy shelters, constructed on hills inclined to landslides, and purple flags have been raised to warn refugees to keep inside.

Aid employees say the cyclone might hamper efforts to management a coronavirus outbreak within the camps, which reported their first infections final week.

“It is already a huge challenge to contain the spread of coronavirus amongst the Rohingya refugees living in over-crowded camps, sharing water and toilet facilities,” stated Dipankar Datta, the nation director of charity Oxfam in Bangladesh.

Water-borne and different infections have been additionally a menace, he added in a press release.

Bangladeshis and Rohingya are amongst hundreds of volunteers educated in emergency response measures who acquired life-jackets and torches.

“We are using megaphones and the mosque microphones to warn people,” stated Sabbir Ahmed, a 24-year-old Rohingya volunteer.

Refugees have been informed to head for madrasas and colleges if the storm destroys shelters, he informed Reuters by phone, including, “If it hits the camps there will be huge destruction.”

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Reporting by Ruma Paul and A S M Suza Uddin; Writing by Poppy McPherson; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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