UPDATES DEATH TOLL, EDITS OVER ALL
DHAKA, Bangladesh / New Delhi, India - At least 22 people were killed and scores of others injured across India and Bangladesh as Cyclone Bulbul hit the Bay of Bengal, officials said Sunday.
The cyclone made landfall at 9.00 p.m. local time (1530GMT) on Saturday in Indian West Bengal, near Sagar Island. Since then, it has unleashed torrential rains and gusty winds.
Ayesha Akter, an emergency official in Bangladesh, confirmed 12 people had died in the storm, adding that she feared the death toll will rise until Monday morning.
According to Bangladesh’s Health Directorate report issued on Sunday night casualties have been reported from eight districts in the country's southern coastline.
Some 226,000 people have been affected by the cyclone and large swathes of cultivable land inundated, the country's Disaster Management and Relief Ministry said.
More than 2 million people were evacuated and shifted to cyclone shelters on Saturday.
- 2 dead in India
At least 10 people were killed in eastern Indian state of West Bengal, news agency Press Trust of India reported citing officials.
Close to 150,000 people have been evacuated from West Bengal's low-lying coastal areas, NDTV reported.
The Kolkata airport was closed till 6 a.m. (1230GMT) on Sunday and dozens of flights were cancelled, the report added.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to West Bengal's Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee to discuss the situation in the state.
"Reviewed the situation in the wake of cyclone conditions and heavy rain in parts of Eastern India. Spoke to WB CM [chief minister of West Bengal] regarding the situation arising due to Cyclone Bulbul. Assured all possible assistance from the Centre. I pray for everyone's safety and well-being," Modi wrote on Twitter.
The prime minister also reviewed the situation in Orissa state, where the cyclone has caused massive damage to crops and property.
According to a Home Affairs Ministry circular, 17 disaster management teams were deployed in West Bengal, while six others were active in Odisha for dealing with contingencies.