Bangladesh tornado death toll rises to 20
Dhaka, March 23 : The death toll caused by a devastating tornado in eastern Bangladesh rose to 20 on Saturday, a local TV channel reported.
According to local TV channel "Time", the tornado, which swept through four sub-districts of Bangladesh's northeastern Brahmanbaria district, some 109 km east of the capital Dhaka, Friday evening left over 200 others wounded.
Mahmud Mozumder, chief executive officer of the district, Friday told Xinhua over the phone that the tornado had flattened hundreds of houses, trees and electric poles while damaging crops on farmland in four sub-districts.
The tornado, with a speed of over 70 kilometers per hour, was accompanied by hail storm and lasted for a few minutes, he said, adding that the victims were killed by collapsed houses and fallen trees.
The railway connecting Dhaka to the country's Chittagong port, some 242 km southeast of capital Dhaka, and northeastern Sylhet, some 241 km northeast of capital Dhaka, remained disrupted as trees fell on the tracks. Road communications in some districts also remained suspended.
The Disaster Management and Relief ministry announced Saturday that 20,000 Taka (about 400 U.S. dollars) will be given to each family of dead person, and 5,000 Taka (about 62.5 U.S. dollars) to the family of the wounded.
An army medical team from Comilla Cantonment has been sent to the affected areas.