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One million evacuated in Bangladesh storm

A total of 13 people were confirmed dead in Bangladesh as people began to return home from shelters, a day after Cyclone Mahasen hit the coast, officials said on Friday.

More than 49,000 thatched houses were destroyed when the cyclone hit along the Bay of Bengal late on Thursday, officials said.

More than one million coastal residents were relocated before the storm. The government has started door-to door assessment of the damage to support the affected people.

The government had allocated cash support worth about 13 million dollars and 5,000 tons of rice to help victims.
Many low-lying areas and islands were inundated by a surge during the storm.
Operations resumed at Bangladesh’s two main airports and the port of Chittagong, after being suspended ahead of the cyclone.

More than 6 million people are exposed to periodic cyclones in low-lying areas in and around Chittagong, around 300 kilometers south-east of Dhaka.

An early warning system and network of shelters were set up in Bangladesh after a storm killed an estimated 138,000 people in 1991.

In 2007, a cyclone killed more than 3,000 people.

The cyclone had been expected to also hit the west of neighbouring Myanmar, prompting the evacuation of more than 166,000 people in the western state of Rakhine, including some 27,000 refugees from last year’s sectarian fighting between Buddhists and Muslim Rohingyas.

But the storm weakened and changed course, sparing the Myanmar coast.

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