A tornado and a half-dozen storms tore through Bangladesh over the weekend, killing 35 people and compounding the miseries caused by last month's deadly cyclone, officials and news reports said Monday.
Tornadoes, squalls, rain and floods have plagued virtually the entire country since April 30, when a cyclone and tidal wave killed more than 139,000 people on the southeast coast and offshore islands. At least 217 people have died in storms and floods this month.A 7,000-member U.S. military task force is bringing food, medicines and other relief to millions of cyclone survivors, who are beset by hunger, disease and exposure to foul weather.
The U.S. Marines and sailors, homebound to California from the Persian Gulf war, were diverted to Bangladesh for the relief-and-rescue operation.
Since the American operation started Wednesday, the task force has delivered 800 tons of food and medicine, Bangladeshi relief officials said.
Officials in Barisal, 75 miles south of Dhaka, said Monday that the death toll from Saturday night's tornado rose to 16 with one more body recovered from the debris overnight.
The tornado ripped through 47 villages, destroying more than 12,000 mud-and-thatch houses. At least 200 people were injured, the officials said in telephone interviews.
An independent newspaper, Khabar, put the tornado death toll at 50.
The government-owned newspaper Dainik Bangla said thunderstorms left at least 19 people dead Saturday and Sunday in northern and western districts.
Inqilab, an independent daily, said at least 30 people were missing after a boat carrying them sank in flood waters Sunday in the northeastern Sylhet district.