16 dead, million seek shelter as cyclone hits Bangladesh
Cyclone Sitrang results in tens of deaths, damage to infrastructure, and displacement.
Officials announced on Tuesday that at least 16 people were killed after a cyclone swept into Bangladesh, forcing about a million people to flee their homes.
Cyclones, which are similar to hurricanes in the Atlantic and typhoons in the Pacific, are a common threat in the region, but experts believe climate change is making them more violent and frequent.
First time seeing continuous heavy rain with strong wind in Dhaka. I wonder what's the situation in coastal areas where the cyclone is actually hitting. May Allah protect them#CycloneSitrang #Bangladesh pic.twitter.com/XoPaZF75Zc— Ajijur Rahman 🇧🇩 (@AjijurR84590395) October 24, 2022
Cyclone Sitrang triggered a landfall in southern Bangladesh late Monday, but authorities were able to evacuate approximately a million people before the monster weather system struck. "Nine people have died, most by trees falling including three from one family in (the eastern district of) Cumilla," Jebun Nahar, a government official, told AFP.
People were evacuated from low-lying areas such as remote islands and river banks and were relocated to thousands of multi-story cyclone shelters, according to Disaster Management Ministry secretary Kamrul Ahsan. "They spent the night in cyclone shelters," he said.
Officials added that in several cases, police had to convince locals who were unwilling to leave their houses.
Heavy rains pounded parts of the country, inundating towns including Dhaka, Khulna, and Barisal, which received 324 millimeters (13 inches) of rain on Monday.
WATCH: #BNNBangladesh Reports.— Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (@gchahal) October 25, 2022
At least seven people died in Bangladesh after Cyclone Sitrang slammed sections of the densely populated country late Monday, according to reports. #Sitrang #Environment pic.twitter.com/3FvfM9tNy3
Officials stated there were no injuries or damage among the 33,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar who were controversially transported from the mainland to a storm-prone island in the Bay of Bengal.
Thousands of people were evacuated on Monday to more than 100 rescue centers in the neighboring eastern Indian state of West Bengal, officials said, but there were no reports of damage and people were returning home on Tuesday.
Cyclone Amphan, the second "super cyclone" ever recorded over the Bay of Bengal, which hit in 2020, killed more than 100 people in Bangladesh and India and affected millions.