Cyclone Roanu: Half a million flee in Bangladesh

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image copyrightAP
image captionCyclone Roanu unleashed heavy rain and strong winds

Cyclone Roanu has pounded coastal areas of Bangladesh, forcing half a million people to flee their homes and leaving at least 24 dead.

It made landfall at noon local time (06:00 GMT) on Saturday, causing floods, landslides and submerging homes.

The storm system has since weakened but heavy rainfall is continuing.

Low-lying Bangladesh is especially vulnerable to flooding and has seen frequent deadly cyclones.

The authorities took over 500,000 people into shelters as Roanu hit.

Among those who died were a mother and daughter who were killed in a landslide in southern Chittagong district, which bore the brunt of the storm, AFP reported.

Several ports have been closed and power lines are down across the country.

The full extent of the damage is not expected to be known until Sunday.

image copyrightEPA
image captionSouthern Chittagong district was worst hit
image copyrightAFP
image captionHomes have been submerged or destroyed in landslides
image copyrightEPA
image captionThe storm has weakened but rains are continuing

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