Thousands of people in Bagerhat started dashing to the cyclone shelters amid heavy rain as cyclone Sitrang is barreling towards the area.
According to the district administration, nearly 30,000 residents of Sarankhola, Morrelganj and Mongla upazilas reached the cyclone centres.
Bagerhat district relief and rehabilitation official Mohammad Masudur Rahman said some took along domestic animals and their essential belongings to the centres. As of Monday afternoon, 29,100 people plus 1,610 domestic animals reached the shelters.
Volunteers from the upazila administration, Cyclone Planning Programme (CPP) and Red Crescent are helping people leave the disaster-prone areas, he added.
A resident of Chila union at Mongla upazila, Ali Azam, said "It has been raining at Mongla since the morning. We heard through the media that the cyclone is approaching. We were asked to move to the cyclone shelters."
Rahim Uddin has taken shelter at a centre at Baruikhali area in Morrelganj.
He said, "The way the storm is barreling towards us, and the way the wind is blowing, our house might get blown away anytime. That is why we have come to the shelter."
Shahin Haldar, a resident of Rayenda area in Sarankhola said, "Sidr ravaged the area in 2007. We, the people living on the bank of Baleshwar river, are still afraid. Now, there is another storm on its way. We pray for Allah to save us."
Deputy commissioner of Bagerhat Mohammad Azizur Rahman said, "People from different risky areas have already been taken to the shelter centres. All the 344 shelter centres can accommodate more than 200,000 people."
Apart from that 298 metric tonnes of rice and cash Tk 480,000 have been allocated while 10 control rooms, required numbers of medical team and volunteers are prepared to reduce the damages of the disaster, he added.