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Dhaka: At least 35 people are thought to have been killed and several homes destroyed as cyclone Sitrang ravaged Bangladesh’s southern coastlines and central parts after it made landfall overnight, according to officials and media reports.
Sitrang completed its landfall and weakened to a tropical depression over Bangladesh in the early hours of Tuesday, October 25, Prothom Alo, a Bengali daily, reported.
Newspaper tallies and unofficial counts stated that the cyclone claimed 35 lives alongside leveling homes and other infrastructure, uprooting trees and disrupting road communication and power supplies.
Around 10 million people were without power in districts along the coasts on Tuesday.
“Until 6 pm this evening, reports of 35 deaths were reported from 16 (of the 64 administrative) districts,” the mass circulation Prothom Alo said, but officials preferred several of the deaths as “missing cases”, confirming 16 deaths so far.
Another prominent news website, bdnews24.com, stated that the death toll from cyclone Sitrang till Tuesday evening stood at 22.
The cyclone made landfall in Bangladesh’s southwestern coast but media reports have stated that the most deaths were reported from southwestern Chattogram coastlines where a sand-laden dredger sank in the Bay of Bengal, drowning eight workers as strong wind flipped the vessel.
Over a million people were evacuated to cyclone shelters in coastlines but deaths were reported from areas in central Bangladesh as well, since strong winds collapsed houses and uprooted trees, causing casualties.
A family of three the parents and their minor child perished as a tree fell on them in central Cumilla while the storm took a prison van off the road killing two policemen and a prisoner in Tangail, another central district.
One death each was reported from Narail and Barguna sub-districts. The body of a child was recovered from Chittagong district. A mother and her two-year-old son died after a boat sank during the storm in Jamuna River in Sirajganj district.
One man died after the railing of a multi-story building collapsed and fell on him in Dhaka, while two women died after a tree fell on them in Gopalganj district.
The body of a worker, who went missing during the storm in Patuakhali, has been recovered. A mother and her minor daughter died when a tree fell on their house in Munshiganj district, the report said.
State minister for the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Enamur Rahman, at a press briefing in Dhaka on Tuesday said about 10,000 houses across Bangladesh were damaged by the cyclone.
Besides, 6,000 hectares of agricultural land and 1,000 shrimp farms were also damaged, he said.
Meterologists preferred to call Sitrang a usual tropical cyclone with high intensity instead of a “super cyclone” but it brought along with it heavy rains inundating roads in coastline cities and towns streets in the capital Dhaka as well.
The disaster prompted authorities to suspend flights in several domestic air routes and all internal riverine routes for over 24 hours and shut schools in several districts alongside the coastal ones.
The storm made landfall with wind speeds of 65 kilometers (40 miles) per hour and wind gusts up to 85 kph (53 mph) while it weakened this afternoon.