Bangladesh braces for cyclone Sitrang

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DHAKA, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Most parts of Bangladesh is witnessing gusty winds and heavy rain over cyclone Sitrang that is heading towards the South Asian country's vast coastline.

A special bulletin of Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) said Monday morning that the cyclone was now staying at 525 km southwest of Bangladesh's Mongla port in southern Khulna region and 590 km southwest of Chattogram port in southeastern Bangladesh.

Kh. Hafizur Rahman, a senior meteorologist, said weather forecasters were asked to hoist danger signal No. 6 for Chattogram and Cox's Bazar, a seaside city in southeastern Bangladesh, and signal No. 7 for Mongla seaport in southwest Bangladesh and Payra seaport in southern Bangladesh.

The coastal districts of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Barishal, Lakshmipur, Chandpur, Noakhali, Feni and their offshore islands also come under danger signal 7.

According to the BMD, some coastal areas of the mentioned districts may experience gusty winds up to 60 kph along with heavy to very heavy rainfall.

All the fishing boats, trawlers and maritime vessels have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice.

Apart from this, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) suspended the operations of vessels on all waterways across the country due to inclement weather caused by the cyclone.

TV reports said southern and southeastern coastal districts have been experiencing gusty winds as the cyclone was approaching.

TV footage showed widespread flooding in coastal districts of Khulna and Chattogram divisions and other districts Monday morning, where tens of thousands of people have reportedly been evacuated from their homes.

Cities including the capital Dhaka are experiencing drizzle and gusty wind on Monday as an impact of the advancing storm.

The cyclone is expected to intensify further before cutting its path through the Bangladeshi coast by early Tuesday, the meteorological office said in the bulletin. Enditem

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