Toll in Bangladesh storms climbs to 18

By Xinhua

Dhaka : With more deaths reported from Bangladesh’s southern and southeastern coastal belt, the toll in the latest spate of violent storms rose to 18 with over 100 fishermen missing in the Bay of Bengal, media reports said Wednesday.

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The storms struck the country’s southern districts of Barisal, Bhola, Barguna, Noakhali, Patuakhali, Bagerhat, Faridpur and Rangamati Monday night, triggering heavy rain, tornado and landslide and leaving 18 dead and over 150 injured.

Several islands in these districts were inundated by tidal surge up to four feet (1.2 metre) high as a depression developed in the Bay of Bengal Monday.

Hundreds of thatched houses were destroyed, crops were damaged and innumerable trees and electric poles were uprooted in the storms. House collapses, landslides and crashing trees caused the casualties, private television channel ATN reported.

Telephone lines and power supply were snapped in most of the affected districts aggravating the misery of the people and making it difficult for the local administration to conduct rescue and relief operations in remote villages and islands.

Over 100 fishermen with 18 trawlers are missing in the Bay of Bengal, coastguard officials in southern Bagerhat district said.

The government has banned ferry services in 108 river routes. All river vessels were advised to stay in safe places until further notice.

Met officials said squally weather might continue to affect the country’s ports at Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar and Mongla.