Bangladesh Authorities evacuate hundreds of thousands in preparation for Cyclone Sitrang

Bangladesh Authorities evacuate hundreds of thousands in preparation for Cyclone Sitrang Authorities in Bangladesh evacuated hundreds of thousands of people on Monday before Cyclone Sitrang made landfall, as the Bureau of Meteorology forecast sea water would rise up to three metres, inundating mud dwellings along the coast, uprooting communication towers and inundating roads.  Authorities in Bangladesh evacuated hundreds of thousands of people on Monday before Cyclone Sitrang made landfall amid fears it could cause massive damage to homes and crops, disrupt roads and power lines.  The meteorological office said Sitrang, which is approaching the Bay of Bengal, is expected to hit the southern coast near Khibupara district in Parishal Chittageng early Tuesday morning, with winds of up to 88 kilometers per hour.  The office expected sea water to rise by up to three meters, which would cause mud dwellings along the coast to be inundated, communication towers uprooted and roads to be inundated.  Inam Rahman, Minister of State for Relief and Disaster Management, said that all residents of vulnerable areas along the Sahel belt have been evacuated to safer places.  Inam Rahman added that more than 7,000 cyclone shelters have been built to accommodate three million people.  The local police said that a woman was killed when a tree fell on her in the Naril neighborhood in the southwest of the country.  "It has been raining heavily all day. We pray to God to save us," Muhammad Tahir, a Rohingya refugee, told Reuters by phone.  Aid workers stockpiled emergency supplies such as food, tarpaulins and water purification tablets in refugee camps housing more than half a million Rohingyas from Myanmar, in flimsy shelters in Cox's Bazar.  Officials advised some 33,000 Rohingya refugees who had been relocated from the camps to a flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal to stay indoors.  Heavy rain fell in the streets of the capital, Dhaka, which led to the flooding of some of the waters and disrupting traffic.  Authorities in India's West Bengal state are also preparing for the cyclone. A warning was issued for heavy rains in coastal areas of West Bengal.  Sanjeev Pundobadhai, deputy director of the Indian Meteorological Department, said the cyclone intensified as it passed over the Bay of Bengal.  It is likely to pass near Sundarbans in West Bengal state but many areas will experience heavy rains.  Rescue teams were stationed in coastal cities and tourist attractions such as Dhaka, Bakali and Sagar Island.  Bundopadhai said that water in all rivers in the Sundarbans delta is rising and may reach 10 to 15 meters in height when Cyclone Sitrang arrives.  The two neighboring countries have been exposed to increasingly extreme weather in the past years, which has caused widespread damage. Environmentalists warn that climate change could lead to more disasters, especially in densely populated Bangladesh.

Authorities in Bangladesh evacuated hundreds of thousands of people on Monday before Cyclone Sitrang made landfall, as the Bureau of Meteorology forecast sea water would rise up to three metres, inundating mud dwellings along the coast, uprooting communication towers and inundating roads.

Authorities in Bangladesh evacuated hundreds of thousands of people on Monday before Cyclone Sitrang made landfall amid fears it could cause massive damage to homes and crops, disrupt roads and power lines.

The meteorological office said Sitrang, which is approaching the Bay of Bengal, is expected to hit the southern coast near Khibupara district in Parishal Chittageng early Tuesday morning, with winds of up to 88 kilometers per hour.

The office expected sea water to rise by up to three meters, which would cause mud dwellings along the coast to be inundated, communication towers uprooted and roads to be inundated.

Inam Rahman, Minister of State for Relief and Disaster Management, said that all residents of vulnerable areas along the Sahel belt have been evacuated to safer places.

Inam Rahman added that more than 7,000 cyclone shelters have been built to accommodate three million people.

The local police said that a woman was killed when a tree fell on her in the Naril neighborhood in the southwest of the country.

"It has been raining heavily all day. We pray to God to save us," Muhammad Tahir, a Rohingya refugee, told Reuters by phone.

Aid workers stockpiled emergency supplies such as food, tarpaulins and water purification tablets in refugee camps housing more than half a million Rohingyas from Myanmar, in flimsy shelters in Cox's Bazar.

Officials advised some 33,000 Rohingya refugees who had been relocated from the camps to a flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal to stay indoors.

Heavy rain fell in the streets of the capital, Dhaka, which led to the flooding of some of the waters and disrupting traffic.

Authorities in India's West Bengal state are also preparing for the cyclone. A warning was issued for heavy rains in coastal areas of West Bengal.

Sanjeev Pundobadhai, deputy director of the Indian Meteorological Department, said the cyclone intensified as it passed over the Bay of Bengal.

It is likely to pass near Sundarbans in West Bengal state but many areas will experience heavy rains.

Rescue teams were stationed in coastal cities and tourist attractions such as Dhaka, Bakali and Sagar Island.

Bundopadhai said that water in all rivers in the Sundarbans delta is rising and may reach 10 to 15 meters in height when Cyclone Sitrang arrives.

The two neighboring countries have been exposed to increasingly extreme weather in the past years, which has caused widespread damage. Environmentalists warn that climate change could lead to more disasters, especially in densely populated Bangladesh.
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