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May 15, 2013

Bangladesh, Burma Prepare for Cyclone

by VOA News

The United Nations says it is working with the governments of Bangladesh and Burma to prepare their disaster response procedures ahead of a cyclone.  

The U.N. said late Tuesday Cyclone Mahasen is expected to make landfall late Friday north of the Bangladeshi city of Chittagong, near the Burma border.

​​The international agency said there are "fears" Mahasen "could threaten millions of people" in northeast India, Bangladesh, and Burma's Rakhine State, where tens of thousands of internally displaced people are currently living in temporary shelters.

Burma's government says 58 people from the Rakhine shelters, attempting to reach higher ground ahead of the cyclone, are feared dead after their boat capsized Monday in a coastal waterway.

U.N. Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos said she was "deeply saddened" by the drownings.  Amos said it is important for the Burmese government "to ensure that people can reach safety before Mahasen hits."