Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Cyclone Giri hit Burmese  southern coast of Sittwe around 8:00 pm on Friday causing storms, rains and huge tidal surges in Saint Martin’s island and other parts of Cox’s in Bangladesh.

With tidal surges hitting seven to eight meters above normal water level, people of St Martin’s island and Teknaf started to move to safer shelters, according to reports.

Around a hundred houses and 20 shops in the eastern part of St Martin’s island went under water, The Daily Star, a local newspaper, reported quoting Firoz Ahmed, union parishad chairman of the island.

Over 3,000 people of the island were shifted to two cyclone shelters, a hospital, district council’s bungalow, union parishad building and residential hotels.

Meanwhile, 21 small fishing boats with over a hundred fishermen have been missing since Friday, the newspaper added.

Metrological department earlier said the cyclonic storm ‘Giri” with a core of hurricane winds started crossing the Burma, officially known as Myanmar, coast at 8:00 pm (local time) on Friday.

Under its influence squally weather may affect the maritime ports and the coastal districts of Bangladesh.

Maximum sustained wind speed within 74 kms of the storm centre is about 160 kph rising to 180 kph in gust/squalls. Sea will remain high, according to the bulletin.

Maritime port of Cox’s Bazar has been advised to keep hoisted danger signal number five.

Maritime port of Chittagong has been advised to lower local warning signal number four and hoist local cautionary signal number three and Mongla port has been advised to keep hoisted local cautionary signal number three.

Under the influence of cyclonic storm and full moon phase, the low-lying areas of the coastal districts Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Noakhali, Feni, Laxmipur, Bhola and their off shore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by storm surge of height 3-5 feet above normal astronomical tide.

All fishing boats and trawlers have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice.

BBN/SSR/SI-23Oct10-12:57 am (BST)