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Tornadoes kill 48 in flattened villages

TORNADOES tore through northern Bangladesh, killing at least 48, injuring hundreds and blowing away thousands of flimsy huts, the United News of Bangladesh news agency reported yesterday.

The twisters swept through nearly two dozen farming villages in Netrokona and neighboring Mymensingh districts on Wednesday night.

Most people were home after celebrating the Bengali New Year's day.

UNB reported that least 36 people were killed in Netrokona, 130 kilometers north of the capital, Dhaka.

Nearly 700 people were injured in Netrokona, with some hospitalized in serious condition, rescue workers said.

"There has been a stream of injured people coming here. They have come with broken legs, hands or cuts in heads," said Nazrul Islam Fakir, a doctor at state-run Netrokona Medical College Hospital.

Another tornado struck neighboring Mymensingh, where rescuers found eight bodies amid twisted tin roofs and trees, and an additional four died while hospitalized, said rural council member Delwar Hossain.

The toll could rise because some of the injured were in serious condition, Hossain said.

At least 100 people were injured in Mymensingh as the tornado swept through five villages in the region 110 kilometers north of Dhaka, said government administrator Imrul Chowdhury.

Thousands of homeless spent the night in open fields.

Amiruddin Akhand, a 70-year-old farmer in Samunipara, had just finished his evening prayer when the disaster came.

"It looked like the world was coming to an end."


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