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Twelve killed as cyclone Amphan batters Bangladesh

Dhaka: Cyclone Amphan has killed at least 12 people in seven coastal districts of Bangladesh before turning into a land depression, authorities said on Thursday.

The cyclone is likely to move further in a north-northeasterly direction and weaken gradually, bdnews24 quoted the Bangladesh Meteorological Department as saying in its latest update.

Patuakhali, Satkhira, Pirojpur, Bhola and Barguna are among the seven districts where casualties were reported.

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In Barguna, a 60-year-old man died by drowning, in Satkhira, a 40-year-old woman died after being hit by a falling tree branch, in Pirojpur a 60-year-old man died after a wall collapsed on him, authorities were quoted as saying by the report.

In Bhola, two persons were killed during the stormy weather caused by the cyclonic storm. In Patuakhali, a six-year-old boy died after being hit by a falling tree branch.

Meanwhile, the body of Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) leader Shah Alam was recovered nine hours after he went missing following the capsizing of a boat in a canal in Kalapara upazila, Kalapara Upazila Nirbahi Officer Abu Hasnat said.

A boat carrying CPP volunteers, including Alam, sank in the Hafez Pedar canal on Wednesday morning after being hit by the storm, the report said.

On Wednesday, the cyclone made landfall at 2.30 p.m. between Digha in West Bengal and and Hatiya island in Bangladesh, flattening fragile dwellings, uprooting trees and electric poles.

The Met Office instructed the maritime ports to lower great danger signals and hoist local cautionary signal No. 3 instead, said Shamsuddin Ahmed, Director of the weather office.

On Wednesday, the maritime ports of Mongla and Payra were advised to keep following great danger signal No. 10, while Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar ports were advised to continue hoisting great danger signal No. 9, as Amphan approached the coast.

The low lying areas of the coastal districts and their offshore islands and chars were inundated by storm surges of 10-15 feet above the normal astronomical tide.

Cyclone ‘Amphan’, the strongest to hit the region in nearly two decades, made a landfall on Wednesday evening. It was the most powerful storm since cyclone ‘Sidr’ killed nearly 3,500 people in 2007.

(With Agency Inputs)

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