Half a million people have been forced from their homes in Bangladesh and eastern India after a cyclone barrelled into coastal areas, killing more than 30.
Emergency services say powerful tidal surges flooded large areas of the Sundarbans delta and neighbouring West Bengal, One resident said: “We have never seen such weather in the past. We haven’t seen such a cyclone before. The trees have fallen, roads are blocked”. Flooding was made worse by rivers, swollen with heavy rain triggered by the storm, bursting mud embankments. Rice crops and fish farms have been destroyed by tidal waves in the Bay of Bengal. The Indian Oil Corporation had to close down a jetty at Paradip, and Bangladesh’s two main ports had to shut. The state capital Kolkata was hit too, with trees uprooted and communication lines cut by the 100 kph winds.