Around one lakh and 36 thousand people have not gone to shelters amid the looming super-cyclone Amphan in Chattogram for fear of losing their livelihood.
Shojib Kumar Chakraborty, district relief and rehabilitation officer in Chittagong, told The Business Standard that though the administration planned to take two lakh people to shelters in disaster-prone areas of the district to prevent loss of life due to cyclone Amphan, only 64 thousand took shelter as of Wednesday 2:15pm.
According to the administration officials in different upazilas of Chattogram, most of the people were not interested to go to the shelter. Many of them were taking shelter in the houses of their relatives.
On Wednesday afternoon, Harijal Das, a resident of Jalepara area of PatengaBeribadh road, said,"The cyclones take away everything from us; the house get destroyed but we still have something in the house, including the fishing nets. These are with which we earn our living."
"It is not possible to go to the shelter along with these. Besides, there is fear of theft. So, if necessary, I will not sleep all night but I will not go to the shelter," said Harijal.
Coastal residents argue that if they leave for the shelter without their valuables, they will be stolen. Besides, since there will be crowds in those shelters, the chance of Covid-19 infection is high.
According to the District Relief and Rehabilitation Department, there were 1,770 shelters in the district and in total, 4046 shelters have been set up.
The administration has started evacuating the residents of the coastal area after the announcement of danger signal No 9 in Chittagong seaport because of Super Cyclone Amphan.
Residents of Sandwip, Banshkhali, Sitakunda, Mirsharai and Anwaraupazilas were being shifted to shelters in the coastal areas of Chittagong.
"Initially 110 shelters were set up but later 162 shelters were set up. 20,000 people took shelter in the shelters on Tuesday but as danger signal no 9 has been announced that number will increase by evening," Sandwip Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Bidarshi Samboudhi Chakma.
Executive magistrate of the district administration Md Touhidul Islam said about 300 fishermen families have been shifted to the coastal area of KattaliJele para and 220 families have been shifted from Patenga EPZ area of the district.
Chattogram administration has been using loudspeakers for the last two days asking residents to take shelter but most people did not seem to care.
On Tuesday hundreds of families were brought into the shelters but a lot of them left as of now.