World

Bangladesh ready with evacuation plans as cyclone nears

Bangladesh on Monday was bracing for its first cyclone of the year, with more than 1,000 shelters set up for people who may need to evacuate as the storm approaches the low-lying delta nation.

Tropical Storm Mora is expected to make landfall early Tuesday as a Category 1 cyclone. Officials expect at least 15 districts, including Cox's Bazar and Chittagong, to be inundated by the storm surge.

Officials said they were ready to begin evacuating people Monday night if conditions worsen. More than 20,000 volunteers were ready.

Some residents weren't taking any chances. Many of the 22,000 people in Cox's Bazar's Moheshkahli Island, where 10,000 people died in a cyclone in 1991, were already moving to cyclone shelters. "We are at high risk," local representative Kamrul Hasan said.

Chief district administrator Ali Hossain said authorities were monitoring weather developments and were "ready for any situation."

"We have kept vehicles and small boats ready for taking people to safety," said Hafiz Ahmed, disaster management official in Cox's Bazar.