April 2015 – BANGLADESH – At least 41 people were killed when powerful storms swept Bangladesh at the weekend and left a trail of devastation in the northwest, officials said Monday. Rescuers and villagers recovered the bodies of victims after the storms flattened thousands of houses, uprooted trees and electricity poles and damaged paddy fields across a large area on Saturday night and Sunday. Nineteen people died in the northern district of Bogra, government administrator of the district Shafiqur Reza Biswas told AFP, adding that more than 100 people were injured. “They died mostly after they were hit by falling trees or collapsed houses and walls,” he said, adding that authorities have sent emergency relief to thousands of villagers. In neighboring Rajshahi district, at least five people were killed and 27 injured as the storm hit a large stretch of low-lying land, another administrator said.
“At least 6,960 mud and tin-built houses were completely damaged by the storm,” said Mejbah Uddin Chowdhury. In the western district of Kushtia two people died and around 100 houses were flattened on Sunday. Two died from lightning strikes as the storm hit the southern port city of Chittagong on Monday, government officials told AFP. There were also fatalities in at least nine other districts, officials told local media, bringing the death toll to 41. Storms known locally as Kalboishakhi often hit Bangladesh during the early summer in the lead-up to the monsoon, which usually begins about the first week of June. –Space Daily, VOA
Six killed in Haiti by storms: The first heavy rains of the wet season flooded parts of the Haitian capital Port-au-Price over the weekend, leaving at least six dead and damaging 8,000 homes, authorities said Monday. Raging floodwaters swept two children aged three and seven to their deaths in the Delmas district of the capital, and a 24-year-old woman was killed when a church wall collapsed on her house. Three more people died in the western, coastal Carrefour district of the city. Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, is prey to torrential Caribbean storms and Port-au-Prince’s garbage-choked drainage channels struggle with the worst downpours. Some citizens are still living rough or in substandard housing five years after a devastating earthquakes killed more than 200,000 people and leveled entire neighborhoods.
The head of civil protection in the capital region, Nadia Lochard, said that more than 8,000 homes had been flooded in the latest rains, mostly in the Cite Soleil slum and Tabarre suburb. Officials said the weather forecast looks less menacing for the remainder of the week, but Haiti’s annual rainy season normally begins in April and more storms are expected. –SD