Bangladesh avoids high death toll with cyclone evacuation

Tens of thousands of Bangladeshis are returning to wind-battered villages and rain-soaked fields after a strong storm pummeled the coast and killed at least 26 people over the weekend.

Authorities had ordered about 2 million people to be evacuated from coastal areas before Cyclone Roanu hit the port city of Chittagong on Saturday, but many ignored the call after deciding the storm's winds, blowing at up to 88 kilometers (55 miles) per hour, were not such a threat. The low-lying delta nation has been regularly hit by much stronger storms.

Still, tens of thousands spent the weekend in shelters. Moheshkhali island council chief Mohammed Ullah says around 100,000 islanders returned to damaged and flooded homes Monday. Local media reported at least 26 deaths from drowning or collapsed homes.