By Jethro Mullen
updated 7:19 AM EDT, Wed May 15, 2013
-- Residents of coastal areas in Bangladesh and Myanmar are preparing for the arrival of a large storm that is rumbling toward them across the Bay of Bengal, with a U.N. agency warning that more than 8 million people could be in danger.
The storm, Tropical Cyclone Mahasen, is forecast to make landfall late Thursday or early Friday in southeastern Bangladesh, near the city of Chittagong. It is likely to bring strong wind and heavy rain to the surrounding region.
On Myanmar's western coast, there are concerns about the safety of tens of thousands of Muslims who are living in makeshift camps in low-lying areas after their homes were destroyed in sectarian violence last year.
"Mahasen could be life threatening for millions of people in Bangladesh, Myanmar and India," Valerie Amos, the U.N.'s top official for humanitarian affairs, said in a statement Tuesday.
The number of people the storm will affect depends on the exact path it plows across the region and its strength when it reaches land.