Cyclone makes its way towards Bangladesh

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DHAKA/AGALAWATTE (Reuters) – A severe and intensifying cyclone churned north towards Bangladesh yesterday after heavy rain in Sri Lanka and thunderstorms in eastern India killed at least 201 people, with more torrential downpours forecast.
 
Impoverished Bangladesh, hit by cyclones every year, warned that some low-lying coastal areas were “likely to be inundated by a storm surge of four to five feet” above normal and raised the storm danger signal, on a scale of one to 10, to seven.
 
Cyclone Mora was expected to make landfall this morning.
 
Floods and landslides in tropical Sri Lanka, off India’s southern tip, have killed at least 177 people in recent days, authorities said, with 24 killed in storms in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, either by lightning strikes or under collapsed village huts.
 
India warned of heavy rain in the northeastern states of Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh as Mora moved further up the Bay of Bengal.
 
Floods reached roof level and cut off access to many rural Sri Lankan villages, disrupting life for 557,500 people, many of them workers on rubber plantations, officials said. Nearly 75,000 people had been forced out of their homes.
 
Villagers in Agalawatte, in a key rubber-growing area 74km southeast of the capital, Colombo, said they were losing hope of water levels falling soon after the heaviest rain since 2003. Fifty-three villagers died and 58 were missing.
 
Some areas in the southern coastal district of Galle, popular with foreign tourists, have not received relief due to lack of access.

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