Hundreds of thousands evacuated as Cyclone Mora crosses Bangladesh coast

A total of 61 persons have been injured during the storm - 60 in Cox's Bazar and one in Rangamati, added Additional Secretary Mostafa.

Some of the worst damage was at camps housing the 300,000 Rohingya refugees living in Cox's Bazar, many of them in flimsy huts.

As of filing this report Cyclone Mora is 230 kilometres south of the Chittagong port and 150 kilometres south of Cox's Bazar. Captain DK Sharma, the spokesperson of the Indian Navy, told PTI that INS Sumitra rescued the 27 people, who were adrift at sea around 100 miles or 160 kilometers away from the coastal city.

Cyclone Mora has stuck Bangladesh, lashing the country's south-eastern coast with rain and winds.

Cyclone Mora was likely to move further in a northerly direction, the BMD said.

Large camps have been set up in Cox's Bazar for hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya who have fled violence in neighbouring Myanmar. Authorities scrambled to evacuate over half a million people from the coastal areas.

He said, "Search and rescue for more survivors was hampered due to prevailing rough weather in the area".

Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader told the media in Dhaka that around 20,000 houses were damaged.

"The people were moved out to at least 400 cyclone shelters or safer places like schools and government offices in the coastal areas", a disaster management ministry spokesman said.

Talk about ill luck, the Rohingya Muslim refugees from Mayanmar who have taken shelter in the refugee camps in Bangladesh were struck with a cyclone.

Landslides caused by storms in Sri Lanka killed at least 180 people in recent days, while 24 people in India have been killed by lightning or collapsing buildings.

The cyclone could affect northeastern parts of India particularly Assam, Mizoram, Manipur and Meghalaya.

Bangladesh is routinely hit between April and December by severe storms that cause deaths and widespread damage.

An Indian navy ship has plucked 33 people and a body from rough seas off Bangladesh, officials said Wednesday, a day after Cyclone Mora battered coastal areas with violent winds and rain that left six dead.

In 2007 Cyclone Sidr killed almost 4,000 people and caused damages worth billions of dollars.

  • Leroy Wright