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Cyclone Bijli Kills 5 in Bangladesh, Spares Burma


Life in Bangladesh is returning to normal after Cyclone Bijli swept over the southern coast Friday night, leaving at least five people dead and dozens injured.

The worst hit were the ports of Chittagong and Cox's Bazar, where Bijli brought heavy rain and wind gusts of up to 90 kilometers an hour.

Officials said Saturday hundreds of thatched houses were destroyed but that the damage was minimal, in part because of evacuation efforts.

More than 200,000 residents took refuge in shelters, and authorities ordered boats to stay close to the shore.

In neighboring Burma, authorities issued a cyclone warning for the western coastal region and advised residents to take precautions against a possible storm surge. The Associated Press reported the warning was later lifted after Bijli veered away from the area.

Cyclones and tropical storms are common in the region.

Last year, at least 134,000 people were killed or reported missing after Cyclone Nargis devastated Burma. In November 2007, Cyclone Sidr killed more than 3,500 people in Bangladesh.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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