Storm destroys 60 000 homes

2010-04-14 13:03

Kolkata - A violent storm killed at least 33 people and devastated more than 60 000 homes as it swept across eastern India and Bangladesh overnight, officials said on Wednesday.

High winds tore through a northern district of India's West Bengal state, 600km north of capital Kolkata, and the Rangpur area of Bangladesh across the border, knocking down homes and electricity lines.

"Most of the victims were buried under the collapsed walls of their homes," West Bengal Minister Srikumar Mukherjee said, adding that 50 000 homes had been destroyed in India.


The storm was an extreme form of what is locally known as a "nor'wester" - a weather pattern that develops over the nearby Bay of Bengal during the hot months of the year, the West Bengal weather office said.

Nor'westers normally bring refreshing winds that blow across the low-lying region in March and April and lower temperatures, Gokul Chandra Debnath, director of the weather office, told AFP.

In Bangladesh, Rangpur district administrator BM Enamul Haq said two people had died, including a police officer who was crushed under a collapsed wall.

The storm demolished a police barracks, leaving dozens injured, two of whom remain in critical condition and have been sent to the capital Dhaka.


"The storm has damaged more than 11 000 mud, tin and concrete homes in Rangpur district alone - many of the houses were completely demolished. It was a huge storm and we are still assessing the damage," he added.

In India, relief has been rushed to the affected villages and homeless people were being shifted to local schools and government offices, Mukherjee said.

In the worst-hit area of the state, North Dinajpur district, train services have come to a halt and the national highway is blocked by toppled trees.

"The roof of four police stations were also blown off," he said.


The storm comes amid unseasonably high temperatures across much of northern India where the mercury is already above 40° in many areas.

The Press Trust of India reported that the number of heat-related deaths had risen to 42 in the eastern state of Orissa since the beginning of the month, after another five people died on Tuesday.

The United News of India reported another death on Tuesday in the western state of Gujarat.

The weather department on Tuesday said nine of India's 29 states were sizzling in a heatwave.


Read more on:    india  |  bangladesh  |  weather

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Saturday Cape Town - 07:38 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
  • Saturday Cape Town - 07:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    ACCIDENT after Jan Smuts Drive
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 3 Black 64GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 4G

Retina Display Finally the incredible Retina display technology from the iPhone...

From R7699.00

I'm shopping for:


Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.