Cyclone Mora makes landfall, leaves tail of destruction in southeastern Bangladesh

Around 200,000 people from the Muslim minority were being sheltered in the coastal Cox's Bazar district, which bore the brunt of the damage.

A major cyclone destroyed the large majority of temporary homes set up for Myanmar's Rohingya refugees in east Bangladesh on Tuesday. Strong winds, storm surge and heavy rainfall affected the coastal areas of Bangladesh and northern coastal areas of Myanmar/Burma.

Cyclone Mora swept through Bangladesh on Wednesday, sweeping away thousands of primitive huts that numerous Rohingya Muslim refugees were living in.

No casualty was, however, reported in the initial hours of the cyclone's landfall.

But Bangladeshi weather officials said the cyclone was not as bad as they had feared.

He said efforts to assess the full extent of the damage had been hampered by disruption to telecoms links.

INS Sumitra that was rushed for rescue operations to Bangladesh's Chittagong that was hit by Cyclone Mora, has rescued 18 persons so far.

The local officials also called in all fishing vessels and advised them to remain anchored, as the country raised its highest number 10 weather danger alert.

Bangladesh had earlier evacuated almost 600,000 people from vulnerable areas and many low-lying villages were inundated by a storm surge reaching four feet (1.3 metres).

The Bangladesh government had issued a warning on Monday to those living in coastal areas to evacuate as the cyclone was expected to intensify.

The districts at risk were Cox's Bazar, Chittagong, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Barisal and Pirojpur.

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

In May a year ago Cyclone Roanu hit the southern coast of Bangladesh, leaving 20 people dead and forcing half a million to flee their homes.

Mora Cyclone formed after heavy rains in Sri Lanka caused floods and landslides killing over 180 people. The cyclone is apprehended to cause damages and affect people in the islands and coastal belts along the region.

  • Leroy Wright