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Cyclone Hits Bangladesh and India, Leaving at Least 16 Dead

Cyclone Hits Bangladesh and India, Leaving at Least 16 Dead

At least 16 people have died after Cyclone Remal hit coastal parts of India and southern Bangladesh, bringing strong gales of 110 km/h, torrential rain, and tidal surges that flooded low-lying areas. Nearly a million people were evacuated as the cyclone made landfall on Sunday evening. The storm affected approximately 8.4 million people, including 3.6 million children, as it passed through the Bangladeshi port of Mongla and the Sagar Islands of West Bengal, India, before weakening on Monday.

In Bangladesh, at least 10 people died, some from drowning and others from being crushed beneath collapsed houses, according to disaster minister Mohibbur Rahman. The cyclone affected 3.75 million people, destroyed 35,483 homes, and damaged another 115,992 homes. In India, Sumit Gupta, a senior official in the West Bengal state government, confirmed six civilian deaths, including three caused by electrocution. The cyclone uprooted trees, damaged power lines, and destroyed thousands of homes.

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Nearly three million people in Bangladesh had their electricity shut off to prevent accidents, and at least 1,200 power poles were uprooted in West Bengal. Rahat Raja from Bangladesh’s Satkhira district reported prolonged power outages, and Mohammed Ali from Bagerhat described food shortages and closed shops. Cox’s Bazar, housing nearly a million Rohingya refugees, faced risks of landslides and flooding, with the IFRC warning residents and preparing volunteers for relocation.

Save the Children deployed four emergency response teams, including a medical team, to support recovery efforts in affected areas. The charity’s country director, Shumon Sengupta, emphasized Bangladesh’s vulnerability to extreme weather events. Authorities in both countries had prepared for Cyclone Remal’s arrival as it moved across the Bay of Bengal. In Kolkata, more than 50 flights were canceled on Sunday, although flights have since resumed. This cyclone follows the region’s most powerful cyclone in more than a decade, which struck in May 2023, affecting thousands in Bangladesh and Myanmar.