BANGLADESH: DANGER SIGNAL UP AS CYCLONE INTENSIFIES
DHAKA/AGALAWATTE (Sri Lanka) — Bangladesh raised its storm danger signal to the highest level of 10 yesterday as a severe and intensifying cyclone churned towards its lowlying coast and was expected to make landfall in the early hours of today.
Impoverished Bangladesh, hit by cyclones every year, warned that some coastal areas were “likely to be inundated by a storm surge of four to five feet [1,2 to 1,5 metres]” above normal because of approaching Cyclone Mora.
The disaster ministry ordered authorities to evacuate people from the coast, the ministry’s additional secretary, Golam Mostafa, told reporters in Dhaka. About 10 million of Bangladesh’s population of 160 million live in coastal areas.
River ferries had suspended operations and fishing boats were called in to safety.
The cyclone formed after monsoon rains triggered floods and landslides in neighbouring Sri Lanka, off India’s southern tip, which have killed at least 177 people in recent days, authorities said, with 24 killed in storms in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, either by lightning strikes or under collapsed village huts. India warned of heavy rain in northeastern states as Mora moved further up the Bay of Bengal. — Reuters.