DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A tropical storm that lashed Bangladesh left at least 13 people dead across the delta nation, officials and news reports said Tuesday.
Tropical Storm Sitrang brewed in the Bay of Bengal before turning north toward Bangladesh’s vast coast, prompting authorities to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people to cyclone shelters Monday. Heavy rains battered the country throughout the day, flooding many areas in the coastal regions across southern and southwestern Bangladesh.
The storm weakened Tuesday afternoon, with maximum sustained wind speeds of 65 kilometers (40 miles) per hour and wind gusts up to 85 kph (53 mph). The weather office in the capital, Dhaka, which had recorded gusts up to 88 kph (55 mph) Monday evening, said the danger had passed Tuesday.
Raihan Mehbub, a government official in Cumilla district, said a couple and their 4-year-old daughter died after a tree fell on their home late Monday night. They were asleep and died at the scene, the official said.
At least 10 others died in separate incidents across the country, Dhaka-based Somoy TV reported. Most died from falling trees, though others died from collapsing structures or drowning, local media reported.
On Monday, the government halted operations by all river vessels across the country, closed three airports and asked fishing boats to return from the deep sea and remain anchored in the Bay of Bengal.
Bangladesh is a delta nation of more than 160 million people and is prone to natural disasters such as floods and cyclones.