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Nearly 400 found alive in South Asia storm

Nearly 400 people who had been listed as missing in a storm off the southern coast of India were found alive after they took shelter on rooftops, trucks and buses, officials said on Thursday.
Indian flood victims queue for flood rel
Indian flood victims line up for flood relief supplies offered by local agencies in Khamam, south of Hyderabad, on Thursday.Str / AFP - Getty Images
/ Source: Reuters

Nearly 400 people who had been listed as missing in a storm off the southern coast of India were found alive after they took shelter on rooftops, trucks and buses, officials said on Thursday.

But there were still scores missing, and survivors in neighboring Bangladesh, which was also hit by the storm in the Bay of Bengal on Monday, spoke of bodies floating in the sea.

At least 66 people have been killed so far, authorities in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh said, after the storm brought heavy rains, strong winds and flooding in the coastal villages.

An Andhra Pradesh government official said flood waters had since receded, allowing rescuers to reach the remote villages. “We have been able to move into villages and rescue people listed as missing,” state official Navin Mittal said.

But a fisherman who survived the storm in low-lying Bangladesh said many others were not so lucky.

“I was lucky to come back. While returning to shore I saw several wrecked boats and bodies floating on the rough sea,” Idris Ali told reporters late on Wednesday in Barguna, a coastal district about 156 miles south of the capital, Dhaka.

“But we are not sure how many have died.”

Storms and cyclones that form in the Bay of Bengal in September and October slam into India’s eastern coast and neighboring Bangladesh almost every year.

In 1977, around 10,000 people were killed when a cyclone lashed Andhra Pradesh. Nineteen years later, some 2,000 people were killed in another cyclone. In Bangladesh, a cyclone left 143,000 people dead in 1991.