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Friday, October 12, 2012
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Storms kill 22

Villagers remove from the road trees uprooted by a storm at Subarnachar upazila in Noakhali yesterday. The storm damaged several establishments, including this school (inset) at Char Clerk union of the upazila, while sweeping across vast areas of Noakhali, Bhola and Chittagong.Photo: STAR

At least 22 people were killed and dozens injured when powerful storms lashed several upazilas of Noakhali, Bhola, Chittagong and Feni districts early yesterday.

Of the victims, 12 died in Noakhali, six in Bhola and four others in Chittagong.

Officials in Dhaka Met Office told The Daily Star that they issued an alert on Tuesday of a seasonal depression located in the Bay of Bengal.

Gaining strength, the depression became a storm and hit different coastal islands between

2:00am and 6:00am.

Our Noakhali correspondent reports, a severe storm accompanied by gusty wind killed at least a dozen and damaged over 200 thatched cottages in Hatia, Subarnachar, Companiganj and Sadar upazilas.

The deceased are Sharmin Akhtar, 10, and Nur Jahan, 55, of Subarnachar, Shima Akhtar, 12, Mamunuddin, 8, Brajalal, 60, Rajshibala Das, 60, and Arif, 10, of Hatia and Reazuddin, 20, Ilias, 16, Amir Hossain, 35, and Nur Islam, 40, of Companiganj.

The local administration, however, could not confirm the identity of the other dead, aged about 55.

Starting around 2:00am, the 20-minute squall destroyed mosques, educational institutions and thatched cottages.

Scores of trees along the roads in Subarnachar and Hatia were uprooted, snapping road communications.

Following the storm, electricity supply remained suspended in the district headquarters.

Locals informed the administration that several fishermen with their fishing trawlers remained missing.

Contacted, Mohiuddin, chairman of Char King union parishad, said locals communicated to administration that several fishermen were missing with their fishing trawlers.

In Bhola, a storm hit Charfession and Monpura upazilas, claiming at least six lives.

The dead are Abdul Khalek, 50, and Shah Alam, 36, of Monpura and Amena Begum, 35, Raihan, 3, Amir and Sakib, 14, of Charfession.

Charfession Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Nur-E-Alam said it became difficult to reach the affected areas as many trees fell on the roads. “We are trying our best to manage the disaster with the help of local people.”

Wahidul Islam, UNO of Monpura upazila, said they were preparing lists of the missing people and damaged houses in the area.

Deputy Commissioner of Bhola Khondakar Mostafizur Rahman said the district administration has allocated Tk 50,000 in cash and 30 metric tonnes of rice for the victims in Monpura and Tk 20,000 in cash and 10 metric tonnes of rice for the affected people in Charfession.

In Chittagong, four people died as a storm swept across Sandwip and Mirsarai upazilas.

The dead are Khodeza Begum, 65, Hare Krishna Boishnab, 65 and Anwara Begum, 30, of Swandip, and Shamsul Haque, 60, of Mirsarai.

Of the two women victims, one died in a house collapse and the other was killed when a tree fell on her, said Maksudur Rahman Phul Miyan, UP chairman of Santospur.

The storm also killed 20 cattle and damaged over 2,000 houses and crops on 2,500 acres of land, said sources in upazila administrations.

In Feni, at least 17 people were injured when houses collapsed and trees fell on them during a storm in Sadar upazila, reports a correspondent.

Many trees along the Feni stretch of the Dhaka-Chittagong highway were uprooted.

Meanwhile, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday expressed deep shock at the death in the coastal areas caused by the devastating storms.

In a statement, she expressed sympathy to the bereaved family members and prayed for the salvation of the departed souls.

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