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Severe cyclone kills 242 in Bangladesh

Cyclone Sidr leaves 242 villagers dead from falling debris and forces 650,000 villagers' evacuation.

world Updated: Nov 16, 2007 14:41 IST

A cyclone that slammed into Bangladesh's coast with 240 kph (140 mph) winds killed at least 242 people, leveled homes and forced the evacuation of 650,000 villagers before heading inland and losing power on Friday, officials said.

Tropical Cyclone Sidr roared across the country's southwestern coast late on Thursday with driving rain and high waves, leaving about 242 villagers dead from falling debris, said Nahid Sultana, an official at a cyclone control room in the capital, Dhaka.

By early Friday, the cyclone had weakened into a tropical storm and was moving across the country to the northeast, the department said, adding that while skies remained overcast, wind speed had fallen to 60 kilometers per hour (37 mph).
Much of the region remained without power and telephone lines Friday.