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Tropical Storm Mahasen strikes southern Bangladesh

Tropical Storm Mahasen strikes southern Bangladesh

A tropical storm has lashed coastal areas of Bangladesh, killing 12 people, destroying thousands of huts and forcing up to a million people to flee.

Officials had prepared for a cyclone, but the storm, called Mahasen, weakened considerably before making landfall.

The storm hit Patuakhali district on Thursday with heavy rain and wind of up to 100km/h (60mph).

Early reports suggest Muslim Rohingya living in camps on both sides of the Burma border were spared the worst.

The United Nations had warned that 8.2 million people were at risk from Mahasen in Bangladesh, Burma and north-east India.

Several Indian states issued storm alerts and warned people to take precautions against severe weather conditions.

The storm weakened over the Bay of Bengal, however, and forecasters say it is likely to dissipate within 24 hours.

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