Authorities in Bangladesh's southern coastal region told local officials to begin preparations Wednesday in case a cyclone brewing in the Bay of Bengal hits the area where about 1 million Rohingya refugees live in squalid camps.
Cyclone Titli is moving toward the coast of Andhra and Odisha in India, but Bangladesh's Meteorological Department advised ports and others in the country to stay alert.
A cautionary signal 4 was announced for the ports, which means they could be affected by the storm.
On Wednesday evening, the cyclone was centred 945 kilometres southwest of Chittagong port, which handles almost 80 per cent of the country's foreign trade.
The weather office advised all fishing and cargo boats to take shelter along the shore.
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority warned ferries to suspend services.
In Cox's Bazar district, Kamal Hossain, the top local government administrator, held a meeting with officials to make plans for at least three islands and the refugee camps.
"Prepare for any situation. It's not clear what will happen, but we need to make preparations to deal with it in case it hits us," he was quoted as saying by local journalists. Hossain advised the officials to concentrate on refugee camps that are close to the sea.
Neighbouring Myanmar launched a crackdown on minority Rohingya Muslims in August last year, pushing about 700,000 to flee the Buddhist-majority country to Bangladesh, where they joined other Rohingya refugees who had fled in previous years.
(With inputs from agencies.)