More than 75 killed as Tropical Cyclone “Remal” strikes India and Bangladesh

flood in bangladesh caused by tropical cyclone remal may 2024

Tropical Cyclone “Remal” — which made landfall over the southern port of Mongla in Bangladesh and the adjoining Sagar Islands in India’s West Bengal on May 26, 2024, has left more than 75 fatalities by May 29. At least 14 people are still missing. The cyclone brought heavy rain and gale-force winds, leading to widespread destruction and significant loss of life.

The cyclone, described by Azizur Rahman, director of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, as “one of the longest in the country’s history,” caused extensive damage across both countries.

In Bangladesh, 19 fatalities have been reported, with causes ranging from drowning to electrocution by fallen power lines. The cyclone’s impact began with rain and gale-force winds in coastal areas starting the morning of May 26.

The Ministry of Disaster Management stated that approximately 800 000 people in coastal areas were forced to leave their homes and seek shelter due to the cyclone. Wind speeds ranged from 90 to 120 km/h (56 to 75 mph), and a high tide of 1.5 to 2.1 m (5 to 7 feet) caused significant flooding, damaging homes, crops, and livestock. In Khulna, two children went missing, and 13 people were injured when a trawler sank.

More than 2.7 million people lost electricity, and over 27 000 mobile network towers were damaged. Dhaka experienced severe flooding, with 306 mm (12 inches) of rainfall, resulting in three fatalities due to electrocution from fallen electric wires. The cyclone affected around 3.7 million people in 107 upazilas of 19 coastal districts, completely destroying 35 000 houses and partially damaging 115 000 houses.

In India, the cyclone claimed more than 60 lives, with the majority of deaths occurring in the northeastern state of Mizoram, where at least 30 people died, including 14 workers crushed in a quarry collapse.

In West Bengal, ten people died, and 13 fatalities were reported in Telangana, with most deaths caused by falling trees or collapsing structures. Other fatalities were reported in Assam, Nagaland, and Meghalaya.

The cyclone toppled 356 electricity poles and destroyed 2 500 houses while damaging another 27 000 in India. More than 50 000 people were evacuated from the Sundarbans region due to a tidal surge reaching over 3 m (10 feet), which lasted over 36 hours and caused significant saltwater incursion.

Kolkata experienced severe disruptions, with 394 flights canceled and 400 trees uprooted. The city recorded 260 mm (10 inches) of rainfall in 24 hours, along with wind gusts of 90 km/h (56 mph), causing flooding and disrupting metro services.

tropical cyclone remal jtwc fcst may 27 2024
tropical cyclone remal 0130 utc on may 27 2024 himawari-9
Tropical Cyclone “Remal” at 01:30 UTC on May 27, 2024. Credit: EUMESAT/Meteosat, Zoom Earth, The Watchers

Remal made landfall with winds reaching approximately 135 km/h (84 mph) at around 20:30 LT, and the process lasted about five hours before the storm weakened into a cyclone on Monday morning.

Remal is the first named storm of the 2024 North Indian Ocean cyclone season.


1 India and Bangladesh cyclone death toll rises – AFP – May 29, 2024

2 30 dead, many feared trapped in debris as Cyclone Remal wreaks havoc in Northeast – Indian Express – May 29, 2024

3 1.1 million evacuated, at least 65 killed as Tropical Cyclone “Remal” hits Bangladesh and India – The Watchers – May 27, 2024


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