fiji, cyclone, nevrijeme.jpg
Photograph: EPA/Naziah Ali

At least 22 people were killed after a tropical cyclone over the Bay of Bengal made landfall on the Bangladeshi coast, officials said Saturday.

Most of the causalities were reported from the south-eastern district of Chittagong, where kilometres of coastal embankments washed away with the landfall of the Cyclone Roanu in the afternoon.

Twelve people were killed and four others went missing in Chittagong after the cyclone swept the coastal areas, Mesbah Uddind, chief administrator of the south-eastern district told reporters based on primary information.

More than 50,000 homesteads were damaged while nearly 250,000 costal residents got marooned because a surge washed away more than 20 kilometres of embankments, he said, adding that cattle and crops in the area were also destroyed.

Gusts as strong as 62 to 88 kilometres per hour and heavy rain left a trail of destruction on costal districts, uprooting many trees and damaging homes and businesses.

The cyclonic storm weakened after landfall, but heavy rains were expected to continue for several more hours, said Shamsuddin Ahmed, a senior official at the Dhaka meteorological office. 

Three people were killed by falling trees late Friday in Bhola district, 160 kilometres south of Dhaka, local government official Jalal Uddin said.

Television footage showed shops and homes damaged in the remote township of Tazumuddin.

One died in neighbouring Patuakhali district when a house collapsed Saturday, police officer Azharul Islam told dpa.

Two of the 12 who died in Chittagong, including one child, were killed after a tree fell on their home in Sitakundu, said Nazmul Islam Bhuiyan, chief administrative officer of the sub-district.

A child died after he was hit by a stone dislodged in high winds from a building that was under construction in the Panchlaish area of the city, on-duty doctors at Chittagong Medical College Hospital said.

Seven people died after an embankment washed away in Banshkhali sub-district, while two others were killed after their houses collapsed on them, Chittagong district administrator Mesbah Uddind said.

Three people were killed on Kutubdia island in the southern Cox's Bazar district, police officer Angsha Thoai said.

Three more people died in Hatiya, an offshore island of Noakhali district, local government official Abu Hasnat Mohammad Moinuddin said.    

The government evacuated more than 500,000 residents from coastal districts, Disaster Management Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury said.

"We have taken every possible precaution," Chowdhury said.

Nearly 2.1 million people living in 18 coastal districts have been told to prepare to move to more than 3,500 cyclone shelters when necessary.

More than 55,000 volunteers were on standby to help with the evacuation.

The authorities have partially allowed traffic on the river routes after the cyclone weakened, but operations at the main port of Chittagong were suspended due to the conditions.

Low-lying areas and offshore islands may experience tides of 1 to 1.5 metres above normal from the storm surge as the cyclone passes, authorities said.

Related stories

Latest news

EU calls on Germany to reduce large current account surplus

The European Commission on Wednesday called on Germany, the bloc's biggest economy, to reduce its large current account surplus and focus on boosting domestic consumption.

Germans' demand for Croatian destinations on steady rise

Bookings for Croatia's destinations in some regions of Bavaria have been rising and some statistics show a 30% increase year-on-year, according to the preliminary information from the "f.re.e." fair for leisure and travel, which opened in Munich on Wednesday and runs through Sunday.

Bosnia's counsel travels to The Hague to apply for review of genocide judgement against Serbia

Bosnia and Herzegovina's legal representative before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Sakib Softic, left for The Hague on Wednesday and is expected to submit a request on Friday for a review of an ICJ judgement delivered in 2007 acquitting the former Social Republic of Yugoslavia, present-day Serbia as its successor, of genocide in Srebrenica.

Serbian, Slovenian FMs says two countries' relations good, economic cooperation on rise

Relations between Slovenia and Serbia are good, the two countries have a number of common interests and their trade, which last year amounted to EUR 1 billion, is on the rise, Slovenian and Serbian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec and Ivica Dacic respectively, said after their talks in Ljubljana on Wednesday.

Congo to investigate alleged massacre by army

The Congolese government Wednesday pledged to investigate an alleged massacre of unarmed men and women by the army, after initially dismissing a video claiming to show it as a fake.

Global treaty to remove customs bureaucracy comes into force

An international pact that could boost global trade by up to 1 trillion dollars per year entered into force on Wednesday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced in Geneva.

EU seeks to fine Austria for misrepresenting debt data

The European Commission was seeking to slap a fine of close to 30 million euros (31.5 million dollars) on Austria after one of its states reported incorrect debt data to the EU's statistical office, EU Commissioner Marianne Thyssen said Wednesday.

Merkel cabinet OKs new rules easing deportation of asylum seekers

The cabinet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday agreed a package of measures to ease the deportation of criminal asylum seekers.

Croatian crime victims still not exercising rights enjoyed by victims in other EU countries

Victims of crime in Croatia still cannot exercise the rights exercised by victims of crime in other EU member-countries, and the biggest problem is that the national legislation still does not incorporate the EU directive on the protection of victims of crime, heard a conference held in Zagreb on Wednesday on the occasion of the European Day for Victims of Crime.

Russia condemns 'fake' Western news in hall of shame on state website

Russia's Foreign Ministry introduced a new section of its website on Wednesday to condemn Western news reports with a big red stamp: "FAKE."

Report: Le Pen aides held for questioning on European Parliament jobs

Two key aides to Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate for the French presidency, have been held for questioning by police, the Agence France Presse news agency reported on Wednesday.

More than 400 exhibitors gather for boat, gastronomy shows in Zagreb

Slightly more than 400 exhibitors will present their products and services at the 26th International Boat Show and the 9th international gastronomy, hotel and catering equipment and catering show Hotel&Gastroteh, which opened at the Zagreb Trade Fair Centre on Wednesday.