Cyclone Mora Hits Bangladesh Coast, Says Weather Office

Cyclone Mora hit the coast of Bangladesh between Cox's Bazaar and the city of Chittagong around 6 am local time today, news agency Agence France-Presse reported quoting Bangaldesh's meteorological department.

The cyclone hit the coast packing winds of upto 117 kilometres per hour after authorities evacuated hundreds and thousands of people from low-lying coastal areas.

Bangladesh has evacuated nearly 300,000 people as Cyclone Mora barrelled towards its southeastern coast at speeds of more than 85 kilometres (53 miles) per hour on Monday, officials said.

Evacuation efforts were ongoing, with nearly 300,000 people already shifted to cyclone shelters, disaster management authority spokesman Abul Hashim had said.

"We are targeting zero casualties and we will try our best to evacuate more than a million before the landfall," he had told AFP.

Meteorologist Abdur Rahman had stated that estimated wind speeds were between 89 to 117 kilometres per hour, with torrential rain and thunder expected across the South Asian nation.

The met office had warned coastal districts could face flooding as a result of storm surges along the seafront.

"We have advised the ports to hoist great danger signal number 10," Rahman had said.

The local administration called in all fishing vessels from the sea and advised them to remain anchored, while the Chittagong port authority postponed activities.

Bangladesh is routinely hit by bad storms between April and December that cause deaths and widespread property damage. In May last year, Cyclone Roanu hit the southern coast of Bangladesh leaving 20 people dead and forcing half a million to flee their homes.

Flash floods and excessive rain led to landslides in hilly areas, which caused most of the casualties.

"But this time we are more prepared," Hashim said


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