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Bangladesh on alert as cyclone approaches Bay of Bengal

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Authorities in Bangladesh have put more than 50,000 volunteers on standby as a strong cyclone in the Bay of Bengal is expected to hit the low-lying nation’s vast southwestern and southern coast.

The weather office in Dhaka on Saturday morning issued the most severe storm signal as Cyclone Bulbul is on track to slam ashore Saturday evening.

Disaster Management Minister Enamul Haque says government offices have suspended work in 13 coastal districts.

Authorities also have suspended all activities in the country’s main seaports including in Chittagong, which handles almost 80% of exports and imports.

Thousands of shelters have been opened.

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