Dhaka: The cyclonic storm 'Mahasen' today hit Bangladesh's southern Patuakhali coast with wind speed up to 90 kilometers per hour, killing one person, officials said.
"The cyclonic storm 'Mahasen' started crossing the coast near Patuakhali (Khapupara). The coast grazing cyclone is likely to move northeasterly direction further and may cross Chittagong-Cox's Bazar coast by noon of May 16," the latest bulletin from Bangladesh Meteorological Department said.
It said the storm was centered at 9 A.M. about 270 kms southwest of Chittagong Port, 225 kms southwest of Cox's Bazar Port and 210 kms south of Mongla port. The storm might widen in impact and hit Chittagong-Cox's Bazar coast with speeds up to 100 kilometers per hour.
Meanwhile, reports said one person was killed as inflated waters coupled with gusts started ravaging parts of Patuakhali alongside the other areas adjacent to the Bay of Bengal in the region. More than 100 huts have collapsed in Patuakhali amidst a power blackout in the area.
Tens of thousands of people were evacuated to safety as the cyclone approached Bangladesh coastlines with Met Office Director Shah Alam saying "We earlier said the Mahasen could hit the coastline in the morning, but now we expect it to arrive by the midday as its speed has been slowed down".
The evacuation campaign was launched last night as the met office issued Danger Signal No 7 in a scale of 10 for northeastern coastlines, while authorities said armed forces were kept ready with troops, ships and helicopters to launch rescue operations when the cyclonic storm hit the coast.
But reports and residents said gusty winds accompanied by thunder showers signaled the advancement of the cyclonic storm in coastlines stretching from south-eastern Teknaf to southwestern Khepupara. Witnesses said rain soaked people, who earlier preferred to stay at home until the last minute, were taking refuges in cyclone shelters, as the sea turned very rough. The storm with an estimated central pressure of 990 hpa also inflated waters in the confluences.
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Updated Date: May 16, 2013 12:15:07 IST