Heavy rainfall has hit the eastern Indian state of Odisha, with thousands of people evacuated to shelters.
The cyclone is expected to hit the Bangladesh coast at about 8pm (14:00 GMT), Shah Kamal, the country's disaster management secretary, told AFP news agency, adding there were plans to evacuate about 1.5 million people before that.
The Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) said during the time of landfall, there could be a storm surge of about one to two metres height in 24 Parganas North and 24 Parganas South district.
Severe cyclonic storm "Bulbul" made landfall at midnight on November 9, between Sagar Islands of West Bengal and Khepupara in Bangladesh, hurtling northwestwards into the neighbouring country over the Sunderban delta, with two deaths reported in its wake.More news: LSU Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide College Football Betting Odds
The cyclonic winds uprooted a large number of trees and electric poles, besides causing extensive damage to thatched structures and standing crops before veering away towards West Bengal, Jena said, according to PTI. Parts of coastal Odisha and Bengal are already witnessing heavy rains, and the National Disaster Force has stationed 34 teams on standby across the region. More cyclone shelters have also been constructed to protect local residents.
It said the maximum sustained wind speed within 74 kms of the cyclone centre was about 130 kph which was rising to 150 kph in gusts/squalls. The weather department has warned of heavy to extremely heavy rainfall with winds speed up to 120 kmph.
Rahman said the government suspended weekend leave for government officials in 13 coastal districts.
According to US-based AccuWeather Inc, Bulbul strengthened from a deep depression into a tropical cyclone on Thursday morning and by Friday afternoon, it had strengthened into a severe cyclone. Bulbul was the equivalent of a Category 1 or 2 hurricane in the Atlantic, it said.More news: Turkish forces, Syrian rebels launch offensive in northern Syria
Authorities suspended all activities in the country's main seaports, including in Chittagong, which handles nearly 80% of Bangladesh's exports and imports.
Bangladeshi troops were sent to some villages, while about 55,000 volunteers went door-to-door and making loudspeaker announcements in the streets to get people away from the danger zone in villages, many of which were below sea level.
All the fishing boats, trawlers and maritime vessels have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice. But disaster preparedness programs in recent decades have upgraded the country's capacity to deal with natural disasters, resulting in fewer casualties.More news: Nunes demands Schiff testify in private as part of House impeachment inquiry