DHAKA, Bangladesh – The cyclone Mahasen is expected to make landfall on Bangladesh’s coast at midday Thursday as a slightly weaker tropical storm, the meteorological department in Dhaka said.

The storm was located about 310 miles southwest of Bangladesh’s southeastern Cox’s Bazar port and 340 miles from Chittagong port, where the storm was heading, the office said in its bulletin early Thursday.

“The cyclone is likely to hit the coast sometime midday as it is moving at the speed of 20 kilometers per hour towards Bangladesh’s southeastern districts,” meteorologist Shah Alam said.

Myanmar and Bangladesh evacuated thousands of people from coastal areas as the cyclone approached, officials and news reports said Wednesday.