Weakening Cyclone Mahasen heads to Bangladesh


A cyclone threatening to lash low-lying coastal areas of Bangladesh and Myanmar appears to have weakened, according to the UN. In a statement released late on Tuesday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Cyclone Mahasen had been downgraded to category one. But the agency said the storm could still pose a risk to more than eight million people. Mahasen is moving northeastwards over the Bay of Bengal and is expected to make landfall on Friday morning north of the Bangladeshi city of Chittagong, sparing Myanmar’s restive Rakhine state from its full fury, the UN said.
The UN said about 8.2 million people in northeast India, Bangladesh and Myanmar would be affected, adding Bangladesh’s Chittagong and Cox’s Bazaar areas could face the worst of a tidal surge and heavy rains.
Cox’s Bazaar, a long strip of coastline, is home to rickety camps housing many of the estimated 300,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees living in Bangladesh.