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Dozens of fishermen missing after rainstorms hit Bangladesh; at least 24 bodies recovered

Dozens of fishermen were missing Friday after rainstorms lashed coastal Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal and killed at least 24 people.

The coast guard and fellow fishermen were searching for those missing since the storms hit early Thursday, said local government officials Mehdi Hasan and Abdul Awal. Seven bodies recovered overnight raised the toll to 24 dead in Bhola, Hatia and Chittagong districts of southern Bangladesh.

The storms swept through hundreds of villages and razed several thousand mud-and-straw huts, leaving many people homeless, they said. About 100 people were injured in the region that is about 215 kilometers (135 miles) south of the nation's capital, Dhaka.

Relief workers handed out rice, drinking water and cookies to displaced people, the officials said.

Communications were disrupted in the region, and workers were trying to remove fallen trees and electricity poles that were blocking roads.

Deadly rainstorms are common in Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation of 160 million people.