Dhaka, May 26: Cyclone Aila which disrupted the normal life in the state of West Bengal, has reportedly claimed 18 lives in the neighbouring Bangladesh. Over 500 others are reported to be missing.
Four people in Bhola, three each in Khulna, Patuakhali, Noakhali, Laxmipur, one in Barguna and a child in Barisal died, while a few hundred thousand people were marooned in the affected areas. Thousands of people have been rendered homeless and many villages in Khulna, Satkhira, Patuakhali and Barisal are submerged.
A large number of domesticated animals and standing crop were lost in the surge. Bangladesh's Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzak officially confirmed five deaths in Bhola and Patuakhali.
There was no river communications between the capital and all southern districts. Power supply to those districts have also been snapped.
Evacuation work has been started by the local administration. A large number of people have taken shelter at different cyclone centres, schools and madrasas.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has instructed her ministers to take necessary steps to help the cyclone-affected people. She also ordered the armed forces to join in the relief operations.
In Satkhira district, over 100 people were reported missing.
Flood-protection dykes on the Kabodak, Khalpetua, Madar, Chulkuri and Kalia were breached and swamped a number of villages. Many villages near the Sundarbans are under water as well.