Cyclone kills 11 in Bangladesh, forces thousands from homes

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A cyclone unleashed heavy rain and strong winds on Bangladesh’s southern coastal region on Saturday, killing at least 11 people and forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes.

Local media say the deaths were caused by the collapse of houses in Bhola, Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar and Patuakhali districts. Cyclone Roanu crossed the southern coastal district of Cox’s Bazar and weakened after triggering rains.

The meteorological office said in a statement that dozens of villages had been submerged by floodwaters.

Mohammed Ali Hossain, a government administrator, said about 100,000 people were forced from their homes on Moheshkhali island in Cox’s Bazar. “Our teams are working there. We are arranging dry food for them and other resources they need urgently,” he said.

Mohammed Ullah, a local council chief, said the island was flooded in no time by the impact of the cyclone. “The islanders were preparing to go to cyclone shelters following a forecast that the cyclone was expected to hit in the afternoon or in the evening, but suddenly waters started coming. Most islanders have moved to safety,” he said.

Bangladesh, a delta nation, is prone to deadly cyclones.

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