Bangladeshis stand by the Bay of Bengal coast before the tropical cyclone Mahasen made landfall in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Thursday, May 16, 2013. Cyclone Mahasan weakened Thursday afternoon into a tropical storm with at least 18 deaths reported in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, but officials had prepared for a far greater storm. Bangladesh evacuated 1 million people from coastal areas and the United Nations warned that 8.2 million people could face life-threatening conditions. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (AP) — A once-fearsome cyclone that was threatening Bangladesh and Myanmar dissipated quickly, causing some deaths but largely relieving authorities who had told more than 1 million people to leave vulnerable coastal areas in preparation for a far worse storm.
Cyclone Mahasan lost power as it shed huge amounts of rain and then veered west of its predicted path, sparing major Bangladeshi population areas, including Chittagong and the seaside resort of Cox’s Bazar, said Mohammad Shah Alam, director of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department.
Coastal areas were spared major damage because it hit Thursday afternoon during low tide, causing no major tidal surge, he said.
“Thank God we have been spared this time,” local government administrator Ruhul Amin said.
Before the storm threat weakened, Bangladesh had evacuated 1 million people, and the United Nations warned that 8.2 million people could face life-threatening conditions.
Myanmar was spared almost entirely. Evacuation Login to read more