Bangladesh Braces for Dangerous Flooding and Storm Surge as Cyclone Mora Approaches

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (May 30, 2017) — More than 11 million people in Bangladesh are expected to be impacted by Cyclone Mora, a slow moving weather system that is set to drench the eastern part of the country starting today.

The country’s meteorological department has issued the highest warning system known as "great danger level 10" for people in the coastal districts of Bangladesh.

The storm is expected to bring winds of up to 75 mph when it makes landfall near the city of Chittagong in the coming hours, inundating low-lying coastal areas with a dangerous storm surge before dumping torrential rains over inland Bangladesh and northeast India as it tracks north.

"The winds are likely to be damaging, but we’re especially concerned about the massive amounts of rainfall being predicted, which is likely to see a dangerous storm surge and flooding," Save the Children Country Director in Bangladesh, Mark Pierce said.

"The storm is due to hit in the country’s southeast, where millions of people live in coastal or low lying areas, often in basic housing that might not be able to withstand torrential rains.

"We’re particularly worried about the impact the storm could have on children, who are especially vulnerable in situations like this. Not only is the experience of a cyclone extremely distressing, but it could also cause many schools to close temporarily or to be used as evacuation centers."

The districts of Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Barisal and Pirojpur are all at high risk due to Cyclone Mora, with millions of children potentially affected.

Save the Children teams are monitoring the situation and stand ready to respond if required. The aid agency, which has been working in Bangladesh since 1970, has stockpiled relief items including thousands of hygiene and kitchen kits as well as emergency shelter, all of which can be distributed at short notice.

"We are taking this storm extremely seriously and have teams located in key areas across the country who can deploy to the affected areas extremely quickly," Pierce said.

"With Bangladesh’s large population and high levels of poverty, the potential for this storm to cause major damage is very real, and so we are doing all we can to make sure communities are ready and that once the storm passes we can rapidly meet the most urgent humanitarian needs."

According to the Global Alert and Disaster Coordination System, 11.3 million people are likely to be affected by Cyclone Mora’s powerful winds.

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