Cyclone SIDR pounds on Bangladesh's coast

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Dhaka, Nov 15 (UNI) Hurricane SIDR with all its fire and fury packing a terrible wind speed of up to 240 kph pounded tonight on Bangladesh's southwestern coast near Sundarbans mangrove forests, about 350 kms from here.

Officials said Dublarchar, Hironpoint of Bagerhat district bore the brunt of the tempest.

All communications with Dublarchar, a remote island in the Bay, with more than 5,000 people, mostly fishermen, were completely snapped since 7 pm local time as the storm kept blowing past the coastline.

Report of any human casualty due to the storm was not received yet. Initial report said the cyclonic storm flattened innumerable thatched houses, uprooted trees and twisted corrugated iron sheets in different coastal districts. Hundreds of fishermen with their trawlers went missing.

Caretaker government chief Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed, who is personally supervising the evacuation work, asked the administration to monitor round-the-clock impact of the cyclone.

Earlier, the authorities in the country's 15 coastal districts deployed volunteers evacuating thousands of people from low-lying offshore islands to cyclone centers as Dhaka Met office issued the great danger signal for seaports and coastal districts last evening.

Seaports and airports in Chittagong and Mongla were shut down while waterway transport communications in the coastal districts were already suspended in view of the natural calamity.

UNI

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