Massive Cyclone Bashes Burma

A cyclone has hit the western coast of Myanmar from the Bay of Bengal, sparking fears that it could trigger a tidal surge of up to nearly four metres in some towns on the coast.

The storm was moving northeast through the country on Saturday, but was expected to weaken later in the day, a meteorological official said, adding that there was no news of any casualties.

State television said on Friday that Cyclone Giri had struck the coast near the town of Kyaukphyu, with winds reaching 160km. It said the storm could cause a tidal surge of up to 3.7 metres in some towns on the Bay of Bengal coast.

Coastal and delta regions in the country are often hit by strong storms. More than 130,000 people were killed or went missing when Cyclone Nargis struck the country’s Irrawaddy delta in May 2008.

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