More than 1,500 tourists stranded in St. Martin could not return on Sunday due to cyclone Javad. However, Teknaf Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Parvez Chowdhury confirmed that the tourists stranded on the island are fine.
On Saturday afternoon, the Meteorological Department issued local warning signal No. 3 due to cyclone Java in the Bay of Bengal. After that, the upazila administration stopped the movement of all types of tourist ships plying the Teknaf-St. Martin, St. Martin-Cox’s Bazar and St. Martin-Chittagong waterways to avoid accidents.
The ships were closed due to inclement weather and non-withdrawal of warning till Sunday afternoon. As a result, no tourists were able to return to St. Martin’s Island as no ship was able to return. On the other hand, the local coast guard did not allow any trawler with passengers to leave Teknaf from St. Martin as the sea was rough.
Hossain Hasnat, a businessman who came from Dhaka’s Gazipur with eight family members, said, ‘I got stuck while traveling. At first I was scared when I heard the signal of the cyclone, but now I am overwhelmed when I see the stars shining in the sky. It’s a pleasure to enjoy the beauty of St. Martin’s at night. ‘
Local resident Nur Mohammad and Radio Naf activist Joynal Abedin said that despite the closure of the ship due to warning number 3, it was very sunny throughout the day. However, the sea is rough. Tourists are roaming in different areas including the beach in groups. Lots of stars can be seen in the night sky. The sea water is glistening more than any other day. Tourists are flocking to the beach to see all this.
Amjad Hossain, Teknaf region inspector of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), said six ships that left Teknaf in the morning on Saturday were on their way to Teknaf in the evening. On that day, 1,703 tourists went to the island in 6 ships, but more than 500 tourists are staying in St. Martin for a voluntary overnight stay. No ships could sail from Teknaf to St. Martin’s due to strong weather warnings. Tourists staying on the island could not return.
Nur Ahmad, chairman of St. Martin’s Union Parishad, told Prothom Alo that besides Teknaf, more than one and a half thousand tourists from Cox’s Bazar-St. Martin’s and Chittagong-St. Martin’s are staying on the island. Stuck tourists are fine. Most of the tourists are spending their time bathing in the lush water of the beach and strolling on the beach. However, in order to prevent any kind of harassment of tourists, special attention is being paid to the workers.