Powerful Cyclone Roanu weakened Saturday afternoon after crashing into coastal Bangladesh, flooding towns and villages, triggering landslides and leaving at least 24 people dead across the region. An estimated half-million people fled their homes for cyclone shelters following warnings from the authorities. After the storm made landfall around noon local time, gusts reaching 90 kph uprooted trees, destroyed houses, and disrupted electricity and communications.

According to a statement issued Saturday evening by the disaster management authority in Dhaka, at least 24 people died across seven districts in southern Bangladesh. Seven people died in Banskhali in Chittagong district after a surge in the sea breached dikes and flooded coastal villages. Three people, including a child, drowned on Hatiya Island after seawater flooded their village. Mohammad Shahabuddin, an official with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society’s Cyclone Preparedness Programme, said that a mother and her 13-year-old son died on Bangladesh’s largest island of Bhola. READ MORE