Cyclone leaves trail of death, destruction in Bangladesh, India

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-11 17:47:51|Editor: Li Xia
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by Naim-Ul-Karim

DHAKA, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Cyclone Bulbul, which slammed Bangladesh's coastlines after making landfall in the Indian state of West Bengal, has left a trail of death and destruction, claiming at least 23 lives.

At least 12 people were killed as cyclone Bulbul ripped through Bangladesh's coastlines, almost all as a result of falling trees, Bangladeshi official figures showed Monday.

According to the latest report by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) under the Ministry of Health, at least 48 people were also injured by the devastating cyclone in southwestern Bangladesh.

It said 20,66,803 people across Bangladesh were relocated to cyclone shelters.

Bulbul damaged houses, uprooted trees, snapped power and communication lines, and disrupted rail, road and air traffic.

Power supply has not been restored in many cyclone-hit areas on Monday.

Bangladeshi State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman told reporters that the government has taken adequate measures to support the affected people.

He said a mass evacuation of over 2 million people hours before the cyclone made landfall have averted a greater loss of life.

The storm made landfall near Sagar Islands in Indian state of West Bengal with its status downgraded to "severe" from "very severe" on Saturday night, as the gale wind speed dropped to about 115-125km per hour.

It subsequently crossed coastal Bangladesh districts in a weakened form.

Crops on nearly 300,000 hectares of land were damaged by Bulbul, the country's department of Agriculture said on Sunday.

Nearly 50,000 households and thousands of fish enclosures were reportedly damaged under the influence of heavy rain and strong winds in three coastal Bangladesh districts which were hit hard by the cyclone.

Apart from this, embankments were also damaged due to the cyclonic storm which also left a trail of death and destruction in neighboring India where nearly half a million people were affected and 60,000 houses were fully or partially damaged.

According to Indian officials, over 150,000 people were evacuated from West Bengal's low lying coastal areas in the wake of the cyclonic storm Bulbul.

Indian media reported that at least 10 people died across the state, most as a result of falling trees.

Also one death has been reported from Indian state of Odisha due to heavy rain triggered by the cyclonic storm.

The cyclone toll is feared to rise further as some fishermen in both the countries were still missing owing to the incidents of boat sinking amid inclement weather on Sunday.

Tornado and cyclones are common occurrences in parts of India and Bangladesh.

Cyclone Aila, which hit both Bangladesh and India in May 2009, left nearly 200 people dead and affected millions in both countries.

In 2007, Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh's southwestern coastal belt, leaving more than 4,000 people dead or missing.