The Army, Navy and Air Force, led by the Armed Forces Division, have undertaken overall relief, rescue and medical assistance in the aftermath of super cyclone Amphan which lashed the coastal districts on late Wednesday afternoon with strong wind and heavy rains.
Under the direction of Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed, the Army had already taken preparations for post-cyclone rescue, relief operations and medical services. They are currently working with the civil administration to determine the extent of damage in the cyclone-hit areas.
In the meantime, the army is ready to deploy 146 disaster management teams in a short period of time, said an Inter Service Public Relation (ISPR) Directorate media release.
Seventy-six medical teams of the army are ready to provide necessary medical assistance in the disaster affected areas. Around 12,500 packets of relief items have been prepared under the Army's own management as food aid to the cyclone-hit areas.
Besides, 16 water purification plants and 14 water browsers are ready to supply pure water, the ISPR said.
Also read: Cyclone Amphan hits coastal districts hard
At the same time, 531 patrols comprising 1,026 vehicles of the Bangladesh Army, have been deployed to deal with coronavirus in 62 districts with the help of the civil administration.
In addition to their role in preventing coronavirus infections, these patrol teams and units are in constant contact with the civilian administration to provide assistance in case of need and are ready to provide necessary assistance.
The army has set up water purification plants in Satkhira, Patuakhali and Khulna to ensure safe drinking water for the people affected by the cyclone. The Ministry of Water Resources has sought the help of the Army to speed up the construction of damaged dams in the coastal districts. The Army Engineering Corps has started preparations to participate in the construction work of the dams.
Members of Bangladesh Navy have left the Chittagong Naval Jetty to provide relief to cyclone-hit Bhola and Hatia. A 22-member navy contingent and an eight-member diving team have left for Satkhira from Khulna Naval Area to assist in relief and rehabilitation of cyclone victims at Gabura Union.
Two naval ships – LCU-03 carrying 600 packets relief goods and LCU-04 carrying 600 packets – have left for Bhola and Hatia respectively.
Considering the situation, other ships in the Chittagong Naval Area will sail to the affected areas to provide emergency rescue, relief and medical assistance. On the other hand, BNS Kopotakkha will travel from Khulna Naval Area to Patuakhali with 200 packets of relief goods and BNS Padma will travel to Barishal with 350 packets of relief goods.
Under the direction of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat, one C-130 transport aircraft, one MI-17 SH helicopter, one Augusta-119 helicopter and one Bell-212 helicopter visited Khulna, Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Barguna, Noakhali, Jhalokati, Kuakata and Sundarbans areas to assess the damage due to the super cyclone.
At the end of the inspection, the actual damage to the cyclone affected area has been submitted to the appropriate authorities. In addition, a team of 119 Air Force members, travelled to Satkhira in the Air Force's own transport to assist the civilian administration in post-disaster management.
BAF is always ready with seven transport aircrafts and 29 helicopters for disaster management after cyclone Amphan. In addition, Ops Room is open to provide 24-hour necessary assistance to all Air Force bases, including the formation of a Disaster Management Cell at Bangladesh Air Force Base Bashar.
The Minister of State for Disaster Management and Relief, Cabinet Secretary, Principal Staff Officer (PSO) of the Armed Forces and Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief will visit the cyclone-hit areas by Bangladesh Air Force helicopter on Friday.