At least nine people have been killed after a cyclone barrelled into Bangladesh on Tuesday, destroying houses, toppling trees and disrupting power, road and communication links.
Cyclone Sitrang forced a million people to evacuate from their homes before it made landfall in southern Bangladesh late Monday, officials said.
Mass evacuations along the west coast helped save lives, however, the full extent of the casualties and damage would only be known after communications are restored, they added.
The monster weather system slammed in from the Bay of Bengal with winds going up to 88 kph (55 mph) and a storm surge of about 3 m (10 ft) that inundated low-lying coastal areas.
Heavy rains lashed much of the South Asian country, flooding capital Dhaka along with the cities of Khulna and Barisal.
Nearly 33,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar — who were controversially relocated from the mainland to a flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal — were advised to stay indoors. There were no reports of any casualties or damage, as per officials.
Sitrang also affected the neighboring eastern Indian state of West Bengal, with thousands of people evacuated to more than 100 relief centers.
South Asia is witnessing increasing extreme weatherin recent years causing large-scale damage.
Experts have cautioned that climate change could lead to more disasters, especially in
countries like densely populated Bangladesh.
In 2020, Cyclone Amphan became the second “super cyclone” ever recorded over the Bay of Bengal, killing more than 100 people in Bangladesh and India, and affecting millions.
dvv/es (AFP, Reuters)