Flagging cyclone approaches coast of Bangladesh

2013-05-16T00:00:00Z Flagging cyclone approaches coast of BangladeshNazrul Islam Mcclatchy Newspapers Arizona Daily Star
May 16, 2013 12:00 am  • 

DHAKA, Bangladesh - The cyclone Mahasen is expected to make landfall on Bangladesh's coast at midday today as a slightly weaker tropical storm, meteorological department in Dhaka said in a revised forecast.

The cyclonic storm was about 310 miles southwest of Bangladesh's southeastern Cox's Bazar port and 340 miles from Chittagong port, where the storm was heading, the meteorological office said in its bulletin issued early today.

"The cyclone is likely to hit the coast sometime midday as it is moving at the speed of 20 kilometers per hour (12 mph) towards Bangladesh's southeastern districts," meteorologist Shah Alam said. In its earlier warning, the meteorological office had said that the cyclone was likely to hit Bangladesh this morning.

Myanmar and Bangladesh evacuated thousands of people from coastal areas as the cyclone approached, authorities and news reports said Wednesday.

Myanmar's Department of Meteorology and Hydrology issued a cyclone warning Wednesday evening, saying the storm was moving northeast from the Bay of Bengal and expected to hit landfall within 18 hours with winds of about 70 mph.

Myanmar has evacuated more than 166,000 people in its western Rakhine State, including some 27,000 refugees from last year's sectarian fighting.

The United Nations has identified 38,000 Muslim Rohingya refugees deemed vulnerable to the storm, but some have refused to be evacuated for fear of persecution and losing their places in the camp.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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