DHAKA : At least six people were killed as cyclone Fani slammed Bangladesh's coastlines after making landfall in the southern region on Saturday, official at Bangladesh's Disaster Management Ministry Mahtab Uddin told Xinhua.
Earlier in the day, Senior Secretary of Bangladeshi Disaster Management and Relief Md Shah Kamal said at least 63 people were also injured. However, local TV channel NTV put the death toll at seven, adding that around 1,000 homes were damaged.
Officials said Fani damaged houses, uprooted trees, snapped power and communication lines, and disrupted rail, road and air traffic. TV footage showed widespread flooding in coastal areas where hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated.
Shamsuddin Ahmed, director at Bangladesh Meteorological Department, said Fani has weakened and was being gradually reduced to a depression. He said an inclement weather will persist Saturday across Bangladesh.
Fishing boats, trawlers and maritime vessels over the bay have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice.
According to the officials, the cyclone did not prove to be as devastating as feared. Tornado and cyclones are common in Bangladesh, causing hundreds of deaths every year.
In May 2009, cyclone Aila battered Bangladesh's southwestern coast, leaving at least 179 people dead and over 3 million affected in about a dozen of districts in the coastal areas.
Aila was the biggest natural calamity in the South Asian delta country after the powerful cyclone Sidr hit the country's southwestern coastal belt in 2007, leaving more than 4,000 people dead or missing. Enditem (Xinhua)