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Tuesday, April 29, 2008
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Cyclone Nargis poised to strike in 4-5 days

Farmers asked for quick Boro harvest

The depression in the southwest and adjoining southeast parts of the Bay of Bengal has turned into a cyclonic storm and may cross the Bangladesh coast after four to five days.

Met Office has advised farmers in a special weather bulletin, to take measures for early harvest of the Boro paddy, if possible, before Cyclone Nargis hits.

The cyclone remains almost stationary 1210 km off Cox's Bazar coast, 1280 km away from Chittagong and 1200 km away from Mongla, according to Met Office at 6:00pm yesterday.

Nargis is the first cyclonic storm in the Bay since the deadly Sidr in November last year.

The met office has said it is hard to be definite right now about the cyclone's movement in the coming days.

The office mentioned that the cyclone might intensify further and move in a northerly direction towards the Bangladesh and Indian coast.

"Its tendency is to move in a northerly direction. But there is a possibility it may change its course and move in a northeast direction to hit the Bangladesh -Myanmar coast," Arzumand Habib, the director of the metrological department, said.

The wind speed within 54 kilometres of the storm center, the met office said, is about 62 kmph, which may rise up to 88 kmph in gusts. Sea will remain rough over the northern part of the bay.

The Met office has advised the maritime ports, including Cox's Bazar, Chittagong and Mongla, to hoist distant cautionary signal number two at present. It also warned all fishing boats and trawlers to remain close to the coast and proceed with caution till further notice.

The name of a cyclone is fixed in advance by at regional metrological conferences. Since the name Nargis was fixed, it became a much talked about fear among people in the coastal belts hit by Cyclone Sidr.

There were several false alarms along the southern coast in the weeks following Sidr and people rushed to cyclone shelters thinking Nargis was about to hit the coast.

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