Cyclone batters Bangladesh, 62 dead

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Dhaka, Nov 16: At least 62 people were killed and hundreds injured as hurricane SIDR lashed Bangladesh's coastal districts overnight causing widespread destruction in the country.

Rescuers said the casualty figure would rise when the picture of destruction caused by the hurricane, that struck the country's 15 coastal districts with a wind speed of 240 kmph, becomes clear.

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Preliminary reports say 21 people were killed in Barisal, 19 in Patukhali 12 in Bagerhat, 6 in Bhola and 4 in Satkhira districts.

Most deaths were caused by house collapse and fallen trees.

Thousands of houses were razed to the ground, trees uprooted and standing crops on vast tracts of land damaged by the storm.

Reuters adds that more than 100 fishing boats in the Bay of Bengal had failed to return to shore despite repeated storm warnings given over the radio.

Sixteen Bangladeshi fishermen went missing after their fishing boat sank in Cox's Bazar, a resort town some 400 km southeast of Dhaka, a local fishing association said.

Rescued fishermen from Myanmar told Bangladeshi officials that 12 of their compatriots had drowned at sea. They were among a group of fishermen aboard four fishing boats which were smashed into shore by the cyclone.

The latest cyclone triggered 5-metre high water surges in many of the affected districts.

It washed away hundreds of thatched homes, destroyed crops and killed livestock.


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