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Myanmar starts evacuations ahead of cyclone

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YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar state television says thousands of people displaced by communal violence last year have been evacuated from makeshift camps to safer ground ahead of a cyclone expected later this week.

The report Monday said authorities have moved 5,158 people from low-lying camps in Sittwe to safer shelter. It said displaced people were also moved in 10 other township in western Myanmar where communal violence flared last year between Muslims and Buddhists, taking hundreds of lives and leaving more than 100,000 people homeless.

Cyclone Mahasen is expected to hit neighboring Bangladesh on Thursday or Friday. Spillover rain could cause landslides and flooding in Myanmar.

In 2008, Cyclone Nargis killed more than 130,000 people in Myanmar.

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