Bangladesh

Bangladesh steps up relief efforts in storm-hit village

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DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh stepped up relief efforts on Tuesday after a storm, packing winds of up to 120 km (70 miles) an hour, destroyed a village, killing at least 23 people and injuring hundreds, officials said.

Nineteen people were listed as missing.

The bodies, retrieved from rubble in the village 180 km (110 miles) east of Dhaka, had been handed to relatives for burial.

At least 20 of the injured were in serious condition, one official in the village said. He said rescuers had not found any bodies on Tuesday.

"With day break, a new contingent of police and fire brigade personnel have joined volunteers offering food and medicine," local official Matiur Rahman told reporters, adding that the search for the missing continued.

The storm struck the village on Sunday night, destroying hundreds of mud-walled and tin-roofed houses, felling trees and uprooting electricity poles.

Initial reports said around 400 people were injured by flying debris. The storm, bringing hail and heavy rain, also damaged rice and other crops, witnesses said.

Weather officials said on Monday more storms could lash the poverty-stricken South Asian country, beset by floods and storms, ahead of the monsoon which begins around mid-June.

(Reporting by Anis Ahmed, editing by Valerie Lee)

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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