Cyclone Remal kills 10, destroys 30,000 homes in Bangladesh

The death toll from the cyclone that hit low-lying areas of Bangladesh has risen to at least 10 people, with more than 30,000 homes destroyed and tens of thousands more damaged, senior local officials said today.

“They mostly died after being crushed under collapsed houses or collapsed walls,” said Showkat Ali, government administrator of Barisal district, where seven people died. Three others died in neighboring areas, some from drowning.

Strong winds and waves battered the coast after Cyclone Remal made landfall last night. By this afternoon, the storm had weakened to a torrential downpour, but the wind and rain were still lashing the coast.

Ali added, “The heavy rain caused by the typhoon is continuing and the wind is strong.” In Khulan district, two people died, government chief Heal Mahmud told AFP.

“The storm damaged more than 123,000 houses in the division, and among them, about 31,000 houses were completely destroyed,” he said. Another person died in Chittagong, where “more than 40,000 people are still in cyclone shelters due to heavy rains and strong winds”, administrator Tofael Islam told AFP.

More than 12.5 million people lost power, said Biswanath Sikder, chief engineer of the Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board, the country’s largest state electricity distribution company. “We will resume the fire once the cyclone condition improves,” he said.

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