By Aung Hla Tun
YANGON, Oct 23 (Reuters) - A cyclone that hit the west coast of Myanmar was moving northeast through the country but was expected to weaken on Saturday, a meteorological official said, adding there was no news yet of casualties or damage.
State television said on Friday that Cyclone Giri had struck the coast near the town of Kyaukphyu, with winds reaching 160 km per hour (100 miles per hour ), and could trigger a tidal surge of up to 12 feet (3.7 metres) in some towns on the Bay of Bengal coast.
Telephone contact with the area was interrupted when the cyclone hit and had not been re-established early on Saturday.
An official at the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology in the capital, Naypyitaw, described Giri on Saturday as an inland storm, but had no details on the impact on coastal areas.
Coastal and delta regions in the Southeast Asian country are often hit by strong storms. More than 130,000 people were killed or went missing when Cyclone Nargis struck the Irrawaddy delta in May 2008.
The Mandalay area northeast of the coast where Giri made landfall has suffered torrential rain in the past few weeks and residents contacted by Reuters said there had been flash floods recently.
There are a number of dams and hydro power projects in the region and some residents have expressed concern about the impact of the heavy rain on the dams. (Writing by Alan Raybould; Editing by Sugita Katyal)