The government has ordered an inquiry into the loss of half of its military aircraft in last week's typhoon, which left at least 131,000 people dead, swept away homes and battered the country's coastal areas, local newspapers reported Tuesday.
The typhoon crippled the Bangladesh Air Force, destroying its 40 fighter aircraft and eight helicopters, Sangbad and other newspapers reported. The Bangladesh Air Force had about 100 military aircraft.On Monday, acting President Shahabuddin Ahmed set up a four-member inquiry, headed by Maj. Gen Nurul Huq, to investigate the loss.
The government ordered the inquiry after Sheikh Hasina, the opposition leader and main political rival of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, revealed the destruction of the aircraft, which had been parked at the Patenga Air Force Base near the coastal city of Chittagong, 160 miles southeast of Dhaka.
The aircraft were destroyed in the typhoon's 146-mph winds and 20-foot tidal waves last Tuesday.
Meanwhile, meteorologists in Dhaka reported high wind lashing the southern districts of Bangladesh and predicted more rain later Tuesday, which is likely to affect relief work.
Opposition parties and news reports blamed the government for badly managed relief efforts. People in virtually every typhoon-ravaged area have complained that the government's relief efforts were inadequate, one newspaper said.