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Death Toll in Bangladesh, India Still Rising After Cyclone


Officials in India and Bangladesh say the death toll from this week's cyclone has risen to nearly 200, and rescue teams are still trying to reach thousands of people stranded by flooding.

Cyclone Aila slammed into the coast of Bangladesh and eastern India on Monday, driving a storm surge and dumping heavy rains that flooded villages in low-lying areas. Officials say continued rain in the wake of the storm has slowed rescue efforts.

Bangladeshi authorities say 130 people have died there and more than 100 are missing. Officials in neighboring India say the death toll in West Bengal state is at least 68.

Both countries on Wednesday said the military is aiding local relief efforts. Rescue workers are trying to reach those stranded by the flooding and get urgently needed food and other supplies to the hundreds of thousands of people forced from their homes.

The cyclone came within 50 kilometers of the West Bengal state capital, Kolkata, paralyzing transportation and utility systems.

The Bay of Bengal is frequently battered by storms and cyclones.

In 2007, Cyclone Sidr killed more than 3,500 people in Bangladesh and displaced two million others. A year ago, Cyclone Nargis is estimated to have killed nearly 150,000 people in Burma.

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