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Last Updated: Friday November 16 2007 17:57 GMT

Many killed in Bangladesh cyclone

This woman lost her home in the storm

A big cyclone has devastated Bangladesh in southern Asia, killing more than 600 people and leaving thousands homeless.

Tropical Cyclone Sidr ripped through coastal towns, flattening villages and uprooting trees in its path.

Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes, as winds as strong as 240kph hit the country on Thursday night.

Officials warned waves 3m high could still slam into the coast but the worst of the storm is now over.

Men help clear up after the storm
Men help clear up after the storm

Coastal towns in southern Bangladesh were badly damaged and many places are without electricity and telephone lines.

Thousands of people in the area have been moved to safety in special government-built cyclone shelters.

Powerful storm

Click here for a detailed map of the affected region

Strong winds also battered the capital city Dhaka, shaking buildings and roofs during the night and cutting off power and water supplies.

Food, medicine, tents and blankets are being sent to help people who have been affected by the storm.

Southern Bangladesh is often hit by cyclones, but experts say this one is the most powerful so far in the season.