Dhaka / New Delhi – The Bulbul cyclone killed at least 11 people in India and neighboring Bangladesh, according to authorities. In the coastal areas of the two South Asian countries more than two million people had to leave their homes for fear of the storm over the weekend.
"Bulbul" hit land on Sunday night at the world's largest mangrove forests, the Sundarbans, authorities said. These connect the Indian state of West Bengal with Bangladesh.
In India, rescuers tried to reach affected region. "Hundreds of trees and electricity pylons were uprooted and houses were damaged," said Amalendu Dutta of Indian Civil Protection. In the coastal areas of Bangladesh, the storm destroyed large parts of the crop, including rice and vegetables. But it is still too early to name the exact extent of the destruction.
Collapsed walls as death traps
About damage in the Sundarbans mangrove forests was initially unknown, according to the authorities. The forests were declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in the late 1990s. They are home to rare animal and plant species, including the endangered King Tiger, the national animal of India.
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In India, a total of eight people died. At least one killed, according to the police, as a tree fell on him. Several died in the collapse of walls. Bangladesh initially reported three deaths.
The operation of several air and sea ports in the region has been temporarily suspended, including at the international airport of Kolkata. The storm had brought strong winds and heavy rains in the coastal areas of the two countries, floods were feared. Meteorologists expected the storm to move north and then weaken. In 1991, a cyclone in Bangladesh caused devastating floods and claimed more than 100,000 lives. (APA / dpa)