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Cyclone Bulbul lashes Bangladesh, killing fisherman and homemaker

Afisherman was killed on Saturday night when a tree collapsed on his thatched home and a woman was killed when a tree crashed down on her house.

Villagers clear debris from their homes damaged by Cyclone Bulbul in Bakkhali on 10 November 2019. Picture: AFP

DHAKA – Cyclone Bulbul lashed Bangladesh overnight, killing two people, injuring scores and damaging homes but prompt evacuations saved many lives and the worst was over, officials said on Sunday.

No major damage was reported in camps in southeast Bangladesh where hundreds of thousands of refugees from neighbouring Myanmar are living.

A 60-year old fisherman, who authorities said had refused to flee to a shelter, was killed on Saturday night when a tree collapsed on his thatched home.

A woman, 52, who had spent the night in a shelter, returned home on Sunday but was killed when a tree crashed down on her house.

Some 2 million people from all of Bangladesh’s 13 coastal districts huddled in about 5,558 shelters on Saturday night. Outside, wind speeds rose to between 100 and 120 km per hourand some low-lying coastal areas were flooded.

Wind speeds have now come down to between 70 and 80 kph, authorities said.

About 1,200 predominantly domestic tourists were stuck at the Saint Martin island in the Cox’s Bazar district, Enamur Rahman, junior minister for disaster management and relief, told Reuters.

“With the signal down to 4 all of them will be rescued,” he said, referring to a storm-warning system.

The cyclone season in the Bay of Bengal can last from April to December. In 1999, a super-cyclone battered the coast of India’s Odisha state for 30 hours, killing 10,000 people.

India’s eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha have received heavy rainfall since early Saturday and there were reports of hundreds of trees being uprooted.

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