Six dead, 500,000 flee as Cyclone Roanu hits Bangladesh

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Cyclone Roanu struck the Bangladesh coast on Saturday killing six people and forcing hundreds of thousands more to flee their homes as the storm unleashed strong winds and heavy downpours.

Authorities took more than 500,000 people into shelters as the cyclone made landfall just after noon local time, packing winds as strong as 88 kilometres per hour.

“It has struck the southern coastal areas of Barisal and Chittagong with a wind speed of 62-88 kilometres per hour,” Omar Faruq, a government meterological department official told AFP.

“The landfall began just after noon. It will take another three-four hours to complete the landfall,” he added.

Several villages were inundated on the Banshkhali coast in Chittagong after the cyclone triggered a five-feet storm surge, the Red Cross’s cyclone preparedness official Ruhul Amin told AFP.

“Thousands of villagers were forced to flee their homes after the storm surge flooded their villages,” he said.

It came after the peripheral wind of the cyclone struck coastal areas early on Saturday morning, causing widespread devastation across the impoverished region.