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Wednesday, 13 November, 2002, 17:34 GMT
Cyclone hits Bay of Bengal
Pedestrians in Dhaka
High rain and winds also affected city areas
Indian officials say at least 36 fishermen have died and more than 400 are missing after a cyclone hit the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday.

Over 40 trawlers sank in the storm, which has since weakened and moved along the coast towards Burma.

The cyclone hit India's eastern state of West Bengal on Tuesday with wind speeds of 60-70 km/h (38-44 mph), before moving along to Bangladesh.

West Bengal's Fisheries Minister Kiranmoy Nanda told the BBC that at least 60 trawlers had been out at sea when the storm picked up strength in the Bay of Bengal.

Bad weather has affected the search for survivors, but Mr Nanda promised more coastguard helicopters once conditions improved.

In Bangladesh, at least 10 wooden trawlers carrying about 150 men sank off Cox's Bazar, a coastal resort south-east of the capital, Dhaka, a local official told the Associated Press.

Southern and central Bangladesh have been hit by winds of up to 85 km/h (53 mph) and torrential rain.

Thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes.

Cyclones and floods are common in this heavily populated low-lying coastal region.

In 1991, a cyclone in Bangladesh killed at least 138,000 people and left millions homeless.

Another cyclone in India's eastern state of Orissa three years ago killed at least 10,000 people.

See also:

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