Cyclonic storm `Mahasen`: Death toll in Bangladesh climbs to 48

Last Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 - 21:12

Dhaka: The death toll in the cyclonic storm `Mahasen` that battered Bangladesh`s southwestern coastlines climbed to 48 on Friday as bodies of nine children were pulled out from the Bay of Bengal.

The cyclonic storm `Mahasen` battered the country`s southwestern coastlines, damaging thousands of thatched houses and forcing evacuation of over one million people from low-lying areas.

A total of 48 people, including 15 children, were killed by cyclone Mahasen or while trying to flee its impact.

Seventeen people were killed by Mahasen, as 15 deaths were reported from southwestern coastlines, the area where Mahesen hit first with high intensity while two were killed in the southeastern Chittagong coast.

After the cyclone hit the region, a trawler carrying some passengers sank in the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday night, killing 31 people.

Coast guard personnel recovered the bodies of nine children from Teknaf shore today, raising the death toll from the boat capsize to 31, the Daily Star reported.

Earlier yesterday, 22 bodies were recovered from Teknaf shore.

The bodies were retrieved in Dargah Chhara and Habir Chhara areas, Didar Ferdous, inspector of Teknaf Police Station, said. He said the children were between 10 and 12 years.

The officials from the coastline said that the cyclone entirely destroyed nearly 50,000 thatched houses and partly damaged another 45,000.

The standing crops were also destroyed after being inundated by surges or heavy downpour which accompanied Mahesen.

The Mahasen, named after a historic Sri Lankan king, ravaged parts of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The cyclone first struck the southern Patuakhali coast with wind speed up to 90 kilometres per hour, but it gradually weakened into a tropical storm and then dissipated, causing far less damage than had been feared.

Communication ministry officials said they cleaned up the regional and local highways and roads after Mahasen disappeared. The engineers and workers were ready to restore connectivity.

Most people returned home after the storm passed but many were forced to stay in cyclone shelters as the storm destroyed their homes.

Officials said they were providing food and cash to the affected people for rebuilding their houses.

"We are assessing the damage and initially providing rice to the people at the cyclone shelters here," Amitav Sarkar, the deputy commissioner and administrative chief of south western Patuakhali, was quoted by the state-run BSS news agency as saying.

PTI



First Published: Friday, May 17, 2013 - 19:04

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