Storms leave 16 dead, 3000 missing in Bay of Bengal

Authorities on Wednesday confirmed reports of 16 fishermen dead and 3,000 missing after a tropical depression churned through Bay of Bengal and pushed walls of water onto the Bangladesh coast, forcing thousands to flee homes.

Heavy rain and wind-whipped seas flooded communities along the country's 700-kilometer (440-mile) coast on Tuesday, washing away flimsy huts, shrimp farms and trees, and prompting thousands of residents to flee, officials said.

Anxious relatives of fishermen gathered at beaches waiting for loved ones, local reporters said. ATN Bangla TV said that 200 fishing boats with 3,000 fisherman aboard were missing.

Regional government administrator Mohammad Habibur Rahman told The Associated Press that officials were trying to confirm the reports of deaths.

Officials said some of the missing may have been pushed into the waters of neighboring India and that still-choppy waters and a lack of rescue boats hampered their search, reports the AP.

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