Tourists retreating to safety from beach in south-eastern Bangladesh

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Dhaka, Sep 12 (UNI) Hundreds of tourists were asked to immediately leave the beach of Bangladesh's southeastern resort town of Cox's Bazar after receiving a warning that tsunami might hit the country's coastal belt around midnight.

Local administration and Red Crescent activists spread along the beach this evening, asking the people through loudspeakers to usave for safety.

A report from Cox's Bazar said water level unusually rose by about 2.5 feet this evening, sparking panic among the tourists and the residents of the resort town.

Fishing boats and trawlers sailed to the sea this morning when it became calm after three days of rough weather. Many of them were seen still engaged in fishing. Red Crescent or the administration officials could not reach the warning message to them.

First hand report said no step was taken till 2030 hrs local time to evacuate the residents living in low-lying areas in and around the town.

The coastal districts of Bagerhat, Barisal, Pirojpur, Patuakhali and Bhola were asked to remain alert and evacuate people from low areas.

Earlier, a met warning said a tsunami may surge up to Bangladesh coast after midnight following an earthquake near southern Sumatra of Indonesia.

"It may generate tsunami wave in the Bay of Bengal of the North Indian Ocean, that may reach Bangladesh coast after midnight (tonight)," said the Met Office bulletin in the evening.

A massive earthquake measuring 7.9 on Richter scale hit near southern Sumatra of Indonesia in the afternoon. The earthquake may trigger undersea waves called tsunami in Japanese terms.

UNI

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