Strong quake hits southern Bangladesh

A strong earthquake shook coastal areas in southern Bangladesh, causing residents to rush out of their homes in panic, witnesses and the weather office said.

The magnitude of the quake that hit around 1:10 p.m. (0710 GMT) was not immediately known, the Meteorological Office in the capital of Dhaka said. No damages or casualties were immediately reported.

"The whole building suddenly shook while I was on the phone - the chandelier and crockery rattled. We rushed out into the streets from our apartments," said Shaheda Ahmed, a resident of Cox's Bazar, a resort town about 300 kilometers (185 miles) south of Dhaka.

Ahmed added that birds flew off frantically from trees and power lines, while street dogs began barking loudly.

"The furniture vibrated and the ceiling fans swayed for about 30 seconds," Shah Newaz, a resident of nearby Chittagong port city said by telephone.

The weather office in Dhaka confirmed the quake, saying they were compiling data and would issue a report soon.

The temblor was also felt at Feni district, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) to the north, a local resident told The Associated Press by telephone.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova