Cargo handling suspended at outer anchorage of Chittagong port

Cargo handling has been suspended at the outer anchorage of Chittagong seaport following weather alert-2 issued by the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) on Monday.

As the cyclonic storm ‘Amphan’ was moving towards the coast of Bangladesh, meteorological department had hoisted danger signal number 6 for maritime ports of Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar.

The CPA had already taken special measures. A meeting chaired by its member Md Jafar Alam decided to take precautionary measures for safety of the ships and seaport.

Mr Alam said, “We have taken steps and decisions as per ‘Cyclone Disaster Preparedness and Port Cyclone Rehabilitation Plan-1992’ to protect the seaport from the cyclonic storm.”

“We have already directed all concerned to ensure safety of small ships and boats in the River Karnaphuli and big ships in Kutubdia and Cox’s Bazar channels. The ships will start moving as per directives of CPA from today,” he added.

He further said, “We have also directed to ensure safety of berthed ships at the jetties of Chittagong port anchored with the double rope.”

According to Radio Control Department of CPA, a total of 99 ships were waiting at the outer anchorage on Monday. But goods were loaded and unloaded from 11 container and six cargo ships on the day.

Following the alert-2, big and medium ships had already started moving for safer place since Monday afternoon.

Bangladesh Coast Guard had already taken steps to move small ships to the shore of Karnaphuli, said sources in CPA.

CPA Secretary Md Omar Faruk said, “We have already taken decision to move ships and small maritime vessels to the safer place as part of safety measures.”

“Loading and unloading was held only at the said ships where the handling activities started yesterday or earlier. After completing handling of these ships today, these should be moved to the safer place,” he added.

He said, “Loading and unloading at the outer anchorage will be suspended from today for the safety of ships. The captains of foreign ships never allow cargo handling during alert-2 at Chittagong port fearing accident. So, loading and unloading will be fully stopped for Amphan.”