Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- At least 11 people were killed and several thousand houses washed away by tidal surge of seawater as the cyclonic storm ‘Aila’ hit the country’s coast districts on Monday.

Four people in Bhola, three in Patuakhali, one in Barguna, two people and a child in Noakhali and Barisal districts died, according to reports.

Besides, more than 500 people were reported missing, mostly fishermen.

Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Abdur Razzak at a hurriedly called press briefing at his ministry confirmed five deaths in Bhola and Patuakhali till Monday afternoon.

But he couldn’t give details of deaths and destructions immediately as navy ships and coastguards could not move from Chittagong to the offshore islands as sea remained turbulent.

Thousands of people were made homeless as the storm caused tidal surge between six and 13 feet high, which battered river and flood-control embankments and dykes submerging many villages in Khulna, Satkhira, Patuakhali and Barisal.

Several thousand houses were damaged in Bhola, Noakhali and other coastal districts that came under lashing by the storm, which, packing a speed of up to 90 kilometer (55.8 miles) per hour, hit the coast at 2pm (local time).

River transport from Dhaka on all the 39 routes to southern districts remained suspended since Monday morning due to stormy weather, officials confirmed.

Local administration of districts and upazilas (sub-districts) in the coastal belt started evacuating people to safer places and many took shelter at cyclone shelters, schools and colleges.

BNN/SS/SI/AD-26May09-1:26 am (BST)