Cyclone Mora slams Bangladesh, killing at least six

Thousands of thatched huts in camps for Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar were also destroyed.

Impoverished Bangladesh, hit by cyclones every year, warned that some coastal areas were "likely to be inundated by a storm surge of four to five feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters)" above normal because of approaching Cyclone Mora. Meanwhile all flights in and out of Chittagong Shah Amanat International Airport have been suspended till this afternoon.

In the coastal border district of Cox's Bazar, where the majority of the Rohingya in Bangladesh live, 17,000 houses were destroyed and 35,000 damaged, said Mohammad Ali Hossain, deputy commissioner in Cox's Bazar.

An official of Bangladesh's National Disaster Response Coordination Center (NDRCC) told Xinhua Tuesday night that the cyclone caused the deaths of six people in two districts as it erased most houses, crops and infrastructure.

Saint Martins public representative Nur Ahmed said strong winds flattened many homes.

Mora was centred at around 385km south of Chittagong port and 305km south of Cox's Bazar port around 7pm on 29 may, said Bangladesh Meteorological Department.

The Disaster Ministry ordered authorities to evacuate people from the coast, the ministry's additional secretary, Golam Mostafa, told reporters in Dhaka.

Community leader Shamsul Alam told the news agency that nearly all 10,000 thatched huts in two camps were destroyed.

Omar Farukh, a community leader in Kutapalong refugee camp, said conditions were dire: "Now we're in the open air".

Cox's Bazar has for years been home to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, a stateless minority. Residents were seeking shelter in schools and other safe buildings in 17 coastal districts, Hashim said.

One child died in Bhola district while in Rangamati town, trees uprooted by the cyclone fell on a woman and a child killing both, police said.

Bangladesh is frequently hit by deadly storms between April and December.

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

More than 100 people remain missing, BBC reported.

The storm is expected to weaken as it travels inland, although heavy rain is forecast for Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh states.

  • Leroy Wright