Cyclone kills 7 in Sri Lanka; thousands displaced

COLOMBO (REUTERS) - A cyclone caused by a tropical depression in the Bay of Bengal killed at least seven people in Sri Lanka, government officials said on Tuesday.

Cyclone Mahasen, which brought heavy rains and landslides to Sri Lanka, was expected to hit Bangladesh and Myanmar later this week.

"Seven people have died and 10 people have got injured. There are 7,399 people from 1,947 families affected," Mr Lal Sarath Kumara, the spokesman at Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Center, told Reuters.

The Center said 3,881 people had been displaced due to the cyclone. Three people were missing due to heavy rains and landslides.

Officials at Sri Lanka's Department of Meteorology have said the centre of Cyclone Mahasen is located 900km off the island nation's eastern coastal town of Pottuvil.

On Tuesday, a boat carrying about 100 Rohingya Muslims capsized off western Myanmar and many were feared drowned at the beginning of a mass evacuation from low-lying regions ahead of a powerful storm.

The tropical depression threatens areas of Myanmar where about 140,000 victims of ethnic and religious unrest are living in camps.

The United Nations warned last week there could be a humanitarian catastrophe if people were not evacuated.

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