Fifteen killed in Bangladesh storm

DHAKA Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:44pm EDT

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DHAKA (Reuters) - At least 15 people were killed and some 300 injured by a tropical storm that battered southern Bangladesh, officials said on Tuesday.

At least 10 fishing boats with 50 aboard were missing in the Bay of Bengal after tropical storm Rasmi lashed the south of the country with winds of up to 80 kmh (50 mph), community leaders said.

Thousands of homes and areas of crops were damaged, while electrical and telephone poles were brought down, cutting power and disrupting communications.

At least 1,000 head of cattle died as offshore islands and coastal areas were swept by a tidal surge two meters (nine feet) higher than normal.

Storms batter the poor south Asian country every year. Cyclone Sidr ravaged the coast last November, killing nearly 3,500 people and displacing some two million.

A cyclone in 1991 killed nearly 140,000 Bangladeshis and another in 1970 -- the worst on record -- killed about half a million people.

(Reporting by Nizam Ahmed; Editing by David Fox)

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