Powerful cyclone kills 242 in Bangladesh

A cyclone slammed into Bangladesh's coast with 240 kph winds, killing at least 242 people, leveling homes and forcing the evacuation of 650,000 villagers before heading inland and losing power Friday, officials said. Tropical Cyclone Sidr roared across the country's southwestern coast late Thursday with driving rain and high waves. Most of the dead were killed by falling debris, according to Nahid Sultana, an official at a cyclone control room in the capital, Dhaka. Downpours and staggering winds also spawned a water surge 1.2 meters high that swept through low-lying areas and some offshore islands, leaving them under water, she said.