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Bangladesh evacuates hundreds of thousands as a severe cyclone approaches from the Bay of Bengal

27 May 2024

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. The India Meteorological Department said it is expected to reach maximum wind speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour (75 mph), with gusts up to 135 kph (85 mph) hitting West Bengal’s Sagar Island and Bangladesh’s Khepupara region on Sunday night.

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. The government also closed all schools in the region until further notice.

India’s Kolkata airport will be closed for 21 hours from midnight Sunday. Bangladesh shut down the airport in the southeastern city of Chattogram and canceled all domestic flights to and from Cox’s Bazar.

Bangladeshi authorities also suspended loading and unloading in the country’s largest main seaport in Chittagong and started moving more than a dozen ships from the jetties to the deep sea as a precaution.

Source : apnews