Six killed as cyclone Mora hits Bangladesh; thousands evacuated

The severe cyclonic storm made landfall on the coast between Cox’s Bazar and the main port city of Chittagong at 6:00 a.m.

Updated - May 30, 2017 04:41 pm IST

Published - May 30, 2017 08:24 am IST - Dhaka

Authorities evacuated hundreds of thousands of people from low-lying coastal villages.

Authorities evacuated hundreds of thousands of people from low-lying coastal villages.

Six people were killed as Cyclone Mora made landfall in Bangladesh on Tuesday, packing winds of up to 150 kilometres per hour (kmph) and damaging several houses, even as the authorities scrambled to evacuate over half a million people from the coastal areas.

In a special bulletin, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department said the severe cyclonic storm ‘Mora’ moved northward over North Bay and started crossing Cox’s Bazar - Chittagong coast at 6:00 a.m. (local time).

Of the six deaths, one died of a heart attack, while others were killed by falling trees and houses in Cox’s Bazar and Rangamati, local media reported.

Under the cyclone’s influence, gusty or squally wind with rain or thunder showers were continuing over North Bay and the coastal districts and maritime ports of Bangladesh, the Daily Star reported.

“Wind speed is estimated at 130 kmph in Saint Martins Island and 150 kmph at the Cox’s Bazar port after it hit the area in between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.,” Cox’s Bazar Met official A K M Nazmul Haque said.

All flights were suspended to and from the Chittagong international airport and the Cox’s Bazar airports.

Bangladesh had raised its highest number 10 weather danger alert as the storm approached and officials quickly evacuated more than 300,000 people to cyclone shelters.

"They have been evacuated to at least 400 cyclone shelters, schools and government offices in the coastal areas," Golam Mostofa, senior government bureaucrat who is coordinating the evacuation, told AFP.


The weather office had said the cyclone Mora could unleash a five-foot (1.7 metre) high storm surge around the Cox's Bazar, Chittagong and several other coastal districts.

The local administration has called in all fishing vessels and advised them to remain anchored, while the Chittagong port authority has 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 were more prepared," disaster management authority spokesman Abul Hashim said.

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