Hurricane SIDR starts pounding on Bangladesh's coastline

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Dhaka, Nov 15 (UNI) A powerful cyclone, packing terrible hurricane winds, started pounding on Bangladesh's South and Southwestern coast from today evening.

Officials engaged in evacuation from remote offshore islands said winds with a speed of 100 to 130 kmph started lashing their areas ahead of impending attack by the Super Severe Cyclone ''SIDR''.

The eye of the SIDR with a wind speed of 200-220 kmph is likely to hit the coastal belt of Khulna and Barisal within hours.

No Reports of any severe damage to infrastructure or human casualty due to tempest was received yet.

Bagerhat District Police Superintendent Shahidur Rahman said Dublarchar island and Hiron Point near Sundarbans mangrove was experiencing a strong wind, which was gradually gathering intensity.

He said, all preparations are in place and more than 5,000 people, mostly fishermen, in Dublarchar Island were taken to shelter centers.

Another report from southeastern sea resort town of Cox's Bazar said the St Martins Island in the Bay of Bengal was experiencing initial storms with a speed of 80kph to 100kmph in the afternoon.

At least 200 tourists including some foreigners were stranded at the St Martin since yesterday .

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 danger signal no. 10 for seaports and coastal districts last evening.

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

Country's military-backed caretaker government's chief Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed who is personally supervising the evacuation work asked the administration to monitor round-the-clock the impact of the cyclone.

UNI

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