It is likely to intensify further and reach the coast of Khulna by Wednesday
The deep depression over the east-central Bay of Bengal and adjoining areas has moved west-northwest and turned into Cyclone Yaas, the Met office said on Monday.
In a special bulletin, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) said the cyclonic storm gained 62 plus wind speed within 54 km of the cyclone center.
The maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra have been advised to hoist distant warning signal No. 2.
Maximum sustained wind speed within 54 km of the cyclone centre is about 62 kilometers per hour, rising to 88 kilometers per hour in gusts/squalls. The sea will remain very rough near the cyclone centre.
Cyclone Yaas is likely to intensify further and reach the coast of Orissa and West Bengal in India and Khulna in Bangladesh by Wednesday.
This is happening at a time when the country is already reeling from a mild to moderate heatwave. It is sweeping over Rangpur, Rajshahi, Mymensingh, Dhaka, Khulna, Barisal, Chittagong and Sylhet divisions, and it may abate from some places.
The centre of the cyclone was 675 km south-southwest of Chittagong port, 605 km south-southwest of Cox’s Bazar port, 650 km south from Mongla port and 605 km south of Payra sea port at 6am.
All fishing boats and trawlers over North Bay and deep sea have been advised to remain close to the coast and proceed with caution.
Also read - How cyclone Yaas was named
Meanwhile, light to moderate rain or thunder showers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind is likely to occur at a few places over Dhaka, Khulna, Barisal, Chittagong and Sylhet divisions, a 24-hour BMD bulletin starting from 9am on Monday forecast.
Similar weather may prevail at one or two places over Rangpur, Rajshahi and Mymensingh divisions with moderately heavy to heavy falls at places over the country, it added.
Meteorologist Arif Hossain told Bangla Tribune that some coastal districts including Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat and Barguna may be affected by the cyclonic storm even though it changed its direction to Odisha in India.
Heavy rainfall or storms may occur in the coastal districts, he forecast.
State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Enamur Rahman on Monday noon told reporters that there was no reason to be worried about the cyclone.
“It is currently located far southwest of Bangladesh. It is heading towards Orissa, India. If it does not change course, Bangladesh is unlikely to be affected,” he added.
The government has started to take measures as the cyclone looms over Bay of Bengal. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged everyone to remain alert.
"We have already started taking adequate precautionary measures [to face the cyclone]. We will remain cautious, we will be able to reduce risks," she said on Sunday.
Cyclone shelters three times more than required are being prepared in compliance with health guidelines keeping in mind the coronavirus situation, State Minister Rahman told the media on Sunday.
He said that they are aiming to bring all the people in need of shelters to the cyclone centres in an attempt to keep the mortality rate at zero if the cyclone hits Bangladesh.