Over 2 million people evacuated as deadly cyclone slams into Bangladesh and India

Posted at 5:04 AM, Nov 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-11 05:04:01-05

At least 10 people have been killed and millions displaced after Cyclone Bulbul smashed into India and Bangladesh over the weekend.

A woman clears debris from her home damaged by Cyclone Bulbul in Bakkhali on November 10, 2019. – Three people have died and two million others spent a night huddled in storm shelters as Cyclone Bulbul smashed into the coasts of India and Bangladesh with fierce gales and torrential rains, officials said on November 10. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP) (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

The storm hit Bangladesh late on Saturday night, and led to severe flooding there and in neighboring India. The bad weather has since dissipated, but many are still waiting to return to their homes.

Enamur Rahman, Bangladesh’s minister for disaster management, said a total of 2.16 million people have been evacuated from their homes across the country. Most of the 10 victims confirmed dead as a result of the storm were killed by falling debris.

About 30,000 houses were damaged by the cyclone, Rahman said, adding that most of the affected homes were “simple huts made of bamboo and other materials.”

“They are not strong structures so (were) vulnerable to damage,” he said.

It is not clear how many residents are still displaced, but since Sunday night people have begun leaving government shelters to return to their homes. Authorities are still tallying the number of people missing, Rahman said.

India’s meteorological authorities classified Bulbul as a severe cyclonic storm, with a maximum sustained wind speed of 120 kilometers per hour (75 mph).

Bulbul is not the first powerful storm to hit the region this year. In May, seven people died following Cyclone Fani, the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in India in 20 years.