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69-MPH WINDS BATTER BANGLADESH COAST, THEN SUBSIDE

A tropical storm with winds racing to 69 mph battered the southeast coast of Bangladesh early Sunday but did not approach the intensity of the killer cyclone of April 30.

The brunt of the tropical storm stuck land just west of this city in Khulna, but there were no immediate reports of casualties as dawn arrived and the storm subsided.Chittagong port police said the southeastern coast experienced a prolonged high tide throughout the night and heavy rain, but nothing like the 145-mph winds and 20-foot tidal surge that killed 139,000 people a month ago.

There were some reports of minor flooding and some temporary shelters were toppled by the wind and rain.

The Red Crescent, the Islamic equivalent of the Red Cross, said more than 21,000 volunteers had evacuated hundreds of thousands of people from the coast in advance of Sunday's storm.

The storm, with gusts clocked between 57 and 69 mph, struck the coastal districts of Khulna and Patuakhali overnight.

U.S. military relief operations were suspended in advance of the storm.