Dhaka: Authorities in Bangladesh's southern coastal region told local officials on Wednesday to begin preparations in case a cyclone brewing in the Bay of Bengal hits the area, where about one million Rohingya refugees live in squalid camps.

Cyclone Titli made landfall at 5:30 am on Thursday near Gopalpur in the state of Odisha in India. The cyclone has been upgraded to the ‘very severe’ category. Bangladesh's meteorological department has advised ports and the public to stay alert.

A cautionary signal 4 was announced for the ports, which means they could be affected by the storm.

Officials in Cox's Bazar met on Wednesday to prepare plans for the sprawling refugee camps where the Rohingya Muslims live, having fled army-led violence in neighbouring Myanmar.

On Wednesday evening, the cyclone was centred 945 km southwest of Chittagong port, which handles almost 80% of the country's foreign trade.

The weather office advised all fishing and cargo boats to take shelter along the shore.

The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority warned ferries to suspend services.

In Cox's Bazar district, Kamal Hossain, the top local government administrator, held a meeting with officials to make plans for at least three islands and the refugee camps.

"Prepare for any situation. It's not clear what will happen, but we need to take preparations to deal with it in case it hits us," he was quoted as saying by local journalists. Hossain advised the officials to concentrate on refugee camps that are close to the sea.

Myanmar launched a crackdown on minority Rohingya Muslims in August last year, compelling about 7,00,000 to flee the Buddhist-majority country to Bangladesh, where they joined other Rohingya refugees who had fled Myanmar earlier.