Hundreds of thousands of people are evacuated from Bangladesh as a severe storm approaches

The Associated Press

NEW DELHI (AP) — Bangladesh evacuated nearly 800,000 people from vulnerable areas on Sunday as the country and neighboring India awaited the arrival of a severe cyclone that has formed over the Bay of Bengal.
The storm is expected to cross Bangladesh and India’s West Bengal coasts around midnight Sunday.
Bangladesh’s junior minister for disaster management and relief, Mohibur Rahman, said volunteers have been deployed to evacuate people to 4,000 cyclone shelters across the country’s coastal region.
Bangladesh shut down the airport in the southeastern city of Chattogram and canceled all domestic flights to and from Cox’s Bazar.
This is the first cyclone in the Bay of Bengal ahead of this year’s monsoon season, which runs from June to September.
Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected in most places over coastal districts in India’s West Bengal state.
A storm surge about 1 meter (3.1 feet) high is expected to flood low-lying areas of coastal West Bengal and Bangladesh.
Such storms can uproot trees and cause major damage to thatched homes and power and communication lines, the statement said.


NEW DELHI (AP) — On Sunday, Bangladesh and neighboring India prepared for the arrival of a strong cyclone that had developed over the Bay of Bengal by evacuating almost 800,000 people from susceptible areas.

By Sunday at midnight, the storm is predicted to pass over the coasts of Bangladesh and India. Maximum wind speeds of up to 120 km/h (75 mph) are predicted by the India Meteorological Department, with gusts of up to 135 kph (85 mph) expected to hit Bangladesh’s Khepupara region and West Bengal’s Sagar Island on Sunday night.

Mohibur Rahman, Bangladesh’s junior minister for disaster management and relief, said that volunteers have been sent to 4,000 cyclone shelters located throughout the nation’s coastal region in order to evacuate people. Additionally, the government declared a temporary closure of all local schools.

The airport in Kolkata, India, will be closed for twenty-one hours starting at midnight on Sunday. Bangladesh canceled all domestic flights to and from Cox’s Bazar and closed the airport in the southeast city of Chattogram.

More than a dozen ships were being moved from the jetties to the deep sea by Bangladeshi authorities as a precaution, and loading and unloading operations were also halted at Chittagong, the nation’s principal seaport.

This year’s monsoon season, which spans from June to September, is preceded by this first cyclone in the Bay of Bengal.

In most locations, moderate to heavy rainfall is anticipated over coastal districts in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is anticipated that low-lying areas of Bangladesh’s coast and West Bengal will be inundated by a storm surge that is roughly one meter (3.11 feet) high.

Thatched homes, power and communication lines, and trees can sustain significant damage from such storms, according to the statement.

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