27 May 2009

Major relief effort after cyclone kills nearly 200

7:48 am on 27 May 2009

Bangladesh and India have launched major relief operations after a cyclone tore into the northern coast of the Bay of Bengal, killing nearly 200 people.

Millions more remain marooned by floodwater or forced to live in shelters.

The death toll in Bangladesh rose to more than 130 following recovery of dozens of bodies on Tuesday.

Indian officials say at least 64 people died in West Bengal state.

Cyclone Aila slammed into parts of coastal Bangladesh and eastern India on Monday, triggering tidal surges and flooding that forced people from their homes.

Officials in both countries say they fear the death tolls will rise, although relief and rescue efforts are being intensified.

Bangladesh's Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzak says people on remote islands have been worst affected but can not be reached because of rough seas.