Hundreds of thousands of people in Bangladesh and Myanmar were ordered on Thursday to move to safety as a cyclone barrelled towards low-lying coastal areas.
The United Nations has warned that more than eight million people could be at risk from Cyclone Mahasen,which is expected to make landfall Thursday or Friday somewhere near the border between the two countries.
Bangladesh told hundreds of thousands of people living in low-lying areas to move to cyclone shelters,while Myanmar announced plans to move roughly 166,000 people at risk on its northwest coast.
The military will move them to higher ground and to emergency shelters in schools,Aung Min,minister of the Myanmar presidents office,said at a news conference in Yangon. Some people dont want to leave. We dont want to see them die so we will move them under the law of protection from natural disasters, Min said.
The cyclone appeared to have lost some of its strength as it churned northwards through the Bay of Bengal,the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement late Tuesday.
But it may still bring life-threatening conditions for 8.2 million people in northeast India,Bangladesh and Myanmar,it warned,adding Bangladeshs Chittagong and Coxs Bazaar areas could face the worst of a tidal surge and heavy rains.