DHAKA, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh on Saturday raised its storm danger signal to the highest level of 10 as a "very severe" and intensifying cyclone "Bulbul" is heading towards its coastlines.
The cyclone, packing winds of up to 150 mph, is set to slam parts of Bangladesh on Saturday, bringing with it destructive winds and a potentially devastating storm surge.
A special bulletin of Bangladesh Meteorological Department said the cyclone is expected to make landfall in the evening hours of Saturday.
Weather forecasters were asked to hoist danger signal No. 9 for Chattogram, a seaside city in southeast Bangladesh, and signal No. 10 for Mongla seaport in southwest Bangladesh.
Maximum sustained wind speed within 74 km of the very severe cyclone center is about 130 kph, rising to 150 kph in gusts or squalls, it added.
Hundreds of thousands of people have reportedly been evacuated from their homes in coastal areas of Khulna and Chattogram and other districts.
"Under the influence of the very severe cyclonic storm 'Bulbul' and the moon phase, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts of Chattogram and Khulna regions are likely to be inundated by storm surge of 5-7 feet height above normal astronomical tide," said the bulletin of Bangladesh Meteorological Department.
All the fishing boats, trawlers and maritime vessels have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice.
Announcements are being made in coastal Bangladesh districts on loudspeakers asking people to evacuate their homes and move to about 500 shelters.
Bangladeshi State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman told journalists that officials have taken adequate preparation to evacuate people and livestock in the coastal areas.
Cities including capital Dhaka are experiencing drizzle and gusty wind Saturday as an impact of the advancing cyclone.
The authorities have suspended all sorts of activities at three maritime ports including premier Chattogram seaport and inland water transportation until further notice.