Cyclone Mora wreaks havoc in Bangladesh

Chittagong and Cox's Bazar districts, bordering Myanmar, is also home to refugee camps for Rohingya Muslims fleeing their homeland in northwest Myanmar.

Cox's Bazar district administration said some 538 shelters were ready to accommodate more than 500,000 people, reports bdnews24.

The airports of Chittagong and Cox's Bazar have also been closed; Cox's Bazar indefinitely and Chittagong's Shah Amanat International Airport until at least 2 p.m. local time (4 a.m. ET) Tuesday. The authorities moved hundreds of thousands of people to shelters.

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 storm has also battered refugee camps, now home to thousands of Rohingya Muslims who've fled violence in Myanmar.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

"The Rohingya live in small shacks - we describe them as barely standing - so they have been devastated", Uddin said.

Disaster management authorities told AFP five people had been killed, four of them crushed by falling trees in the area.

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Habibur Rahman, a member of Saint Martin's Island Union Parishad, told Bangla daily Prothom Alo that several houses were damaged in Saint Martin's Island in the morning.

With the closer proximity, the neighbouring countries including Indian and Myanmar are predicted to get affected by the cyclone Mora. Nearly all the 10,000 thatched huts in the Balukhali and Kutupalong camps were destroyed, Alam said.

The maximum sustained wind speed rose to 100 km per hour in gusts and squalls in some areas as the cyclone cut through the Cox's Bazar-Chittagong coast, said Shamsuddin Ahmed, director of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department.

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

The numbers have swelled since 2012, and in October and November of a year ago about 65,000 more arrived after a crackdown by Myanmar's army.

In 2007 Cyclone Sidr killed almost 4,000 people and caused damage worth billions of dollars. Cyclone Roanu left at least 24 people dead when it hit coastal Bangladesh in 2016.

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

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