Cyclone Fani kills dozens in India and Bangladesh

Cyclone Fani, the strongest storm to hit the Indian subcontinent in five years, has barrelled into Bangladesh after leaving a trail of deadly destruction across the eastern coast of India.
At least 16 people died in India, mostly in the worst-hit state of Odisha, Al Jazeera’s Scott Heidler said on Saturday, citing local Indian media reports.
In neighbouring Bangladesh, authorities said at least 12 people died and scored of others wounded as Fani swung northeastwards into the country.
At least four of those deaths were reported from Kishorganj district in central Bangladesh. “They died after they were struck by lightning. There have been heavy rains and storm here since Friday noon,” the district’s Deputy Commissioner Sarwar Murshed Chowdhury told Al Jazeera.
Kabir Ahmed, Deputy Commissioner of Barguna district, said an elderly woman and her grandson died around 3 am on Saturday morning after a tree fell on their tin-shed home.
Over a million people were moved to safety, Bangladeshi officials said, a massive evacuation exercise also followed in India’s Odisha state, where a similar cyclone 20 years ago had killed 10,000 people.
After it made landfall early on Friday, tropical cyclone Fani had lost some of its power and was downgraded to a ‘Deep Depression’ by the Indian Meteorological Department as the storm moved inland over Bangladesh.
A storm surge still breached embankments to submerge dozens of villages on Bangladesh’s low-lying coast, a disaster ministry official in Dhaka said.
“We are mooring our boat because it’s the only means of income for us. Only Allah knows when we can go back to fishing again,” Akbar Ali, a fisherman near the town of Dacope in Bangladesh, told AFP news agency while battling surging waves to tie his boat to a tree.
Aljazeera

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