Cyclone SIDR batters Bangladesh, kills 141

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Dhaka, Nov 16 (UNI) At least 141 people have been 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 go up with the picture of death and destruction getting clear. The super cyclone struck 15 coastal districts with a wind speed of 240 kmph.

Preliminary reports said at least 57 people were killed in Barguna, 21 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 storms.

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.

UNI

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