At least 60 killed in India-Bangladesh storm

April 15, 2010 by Post Team 

At least 60 killed in India-Bangladesh stormAt least 60 killed in India-Bangladesh storm:BAKU: At least 60 people have died in a powerful storm that hit a district on the border of the Indian state of West Bengal and Bangladesh, officials said.

The state’s civil defence minister Srikumar Mukherji has left for the Uttar Dinajpur district, where the devastation was huge.

Mukherji is personally overseeing relief operations. He told media that bodies were being found in the rubble of 50,000 houses that collapsed or were damaged.

Hundreds of people have been admitted to hospital with severe injuries.
Blown away

“Most of the victims were buried under the collapsed walls of their homes,” Mukherji said.

The BBC’s Subir Bhaumik in Calcutta says that the worst damage was reported from Raiganj, Islampur, Karandighi, Kaliaganj and Hemtabad areas of West Bengal.
Our correspondent says that the storm was followed by heavy rains that further added to the woes of villagers whose housetops had earlier been blown away.

Most of Uttar Dinajpur district is without power because electricity poles collapsed after trees uprooted by the storm fell on them.

Telecommunication links have been severely hit, railway lines damaged and roads closed.

Officials say that the storm – which also killed two people in the Rangpur area of Bangladesh – was an extreme form of what is locally known as a “nor’wester” – a weather pattern that develops over the Bay of Bengal during the hot months of the year.

“The storm has damaged more than 11,000 mud, tin and concrete homes in Rangpur district alone – many of the houses were completely demolished. It was a huge storm and we are still assessing the damage,” Rangpur district administrator BM Enamul Haq told the AFP news agency.

In May last year more than 155 people were killed by Cyclone Aila, which hit West Bengal and Bangladesh.

The latest storm comes as nine of India’s 29 states endure a heat wave which has taken temperatures above 40C in many northern areas.

Indian media reported that the number of heat-related deaths rose to 42 in the eastern state of Orissa since the beginning of the month, with another five people dying on Tuesday.

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