Bangladesh government declares emergency
A state of emergency was declared in the coastal districts of Bangladesh to tackle the death toll, which rose to 54.india Updated: Sep 22, 2006 19:30 IST
The death toll from a tropical storm in the Bay of Bengal rose to 54 on Friday as the government declared a state of emergency in the coastal districts of Bangladesh, officials said.
The overnight toll of 39 rose as coast guard rescuers recovered 15 more bodies of fishermen.
Thousands of other fishermen were unaccounted for as more than 600 fishing trawlers and sailing boats went missing in the storm.
Under the state of emergency, the search and rescue operations were intensified in frantic efforts to locate survivors and bodies.
The ports and shipping ministry also suspended all ferry services to islands and ordered harbours and river stations to hoist danger signals to incoming vessels.
A Bangladesh Navy ship also sank off the Khulna-Mongla coast in Tuesday's raging winds and heavy rains that inundated at least a dozen coastal towns in the Barisal region.
A joint rescue operation mounted by Air Force helicopters and Coast Guard boats helped evacuate 40 seamen from the sinking BNS Shaheed Farid, but the commander of the ship, Firoze Kabir, was missing.