Cyclone Remal Tears Through India and Bangladesh, Killing at Least 23


At least 23 people were killed and millions were left without power after Cyclone Remal, the first tropical storm of the season, hit Bangladesh and neighboring eastern India on Sunday.

Remal, which had measured winds of over 70 miles per hour, left a trail of destruction, uprooting trees and damaging power lines throughout the region, officials said.

The storm killed 13 people in Bangladesh, and it damaged or destroyed more than 35,000 homes across the coastal areas, affecting about 3.5 million people, according to officials. More than 13 million people there lost electricity on Monday evening, according to power ministry officials. The South Asian country has a population of 170 million.

The storm also caused power outages and damaged homes in the Indian state of West Bengal. On Tuesday, officials said that at least 10 people were killed, with several more missing, after heavy rains from the remnants of the cyclone caused a stone quarry to collapse in the northeastern Indian state of Mizoram, which neighbors Bangladesh.

The storm hit after weeks of intense heat in the region, with temperatures reaching about 104 Fahrenheit, or 40 Celsius. Remal made landfall near Bangladesh’s southern port of Mongla and the neighboring Sagar Islands of India around 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Around a million people were evacuated from Bangladesh’s coastal villages before the storm hit. Most of those villages were flooded, leaving millions of people vulnerable, officials said.

“As Cyclone Remal hits the coastal areas of Bangladesh, over 8.4 million people, including 3.2 million children, are at high health, nutrition, sanitation and safety risks,” Sheldon Yett, a UNICEF representative to Bangladesh, said in a statement.

Bangladesh’s inland capital, Dhaka was hit with heavy rain and strong winds. The storm disrupted flights at Shah Amanat International Airport in southeastern Bangladesh and at Kolkata Airport in India.

By Tuesday, the storm had weakened, but meteorologists in Bangladesh and India warned that heavy rain and strong winds could continue for a few days.

Bangladesh has been hit with several violent storms in recent years. Last May, a severe cyclone, Mocha, hit Bangladesh and Myanmar and left several people dead. The storm caused widespread damage in the sprawling Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, destroying over 3,000 shanties and learning centers made of bamboo slats and plastic tarpaulin.

The Philippines has also seen its first tropical storm of the season. Typhoon Ewiniar hit the island nation early Saturday morning. The Office of Civil Defense reported Monday that there were seven casualties from the storm. The storm had gusts of over 40 miles per hour, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

Suhasini Raj contributed to reporting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *