September 22, 2007 / 7:05 PM / in 11 years

Eighty Bangladeshi fishermen missing after storm

(Adds water surge in offshore islands)

DHAKA, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Eighty Bangladeshi fishermen were missing after 10 fishing boats sank in the Bay of Bengal during an overnight storm and winds were preventing rescue operations, officials said on Saturday.

"A search will start ... only when the situation improves," said Selim Khan, an administrative officer in the coastal Barguna district.

Hundreds of people were evacuated to safer areas on Saturday after their houses were flooded on five islands in the southern Bhola district 350 km (220 miles) south of the capital Dhaka.

Meteorologists said the storm was heading towards India’s eastern coastal state of Orissa.

Hundreds of Bangladeshi fishermen die and many go missing in storms in the Bay of Bengal every year. (Additional reporting by Aroop Talukdar in Barisal)

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