The Witness - - NEWS -

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.

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