Dhaka, the area hit by the tornado
|Formed||April 26, 1989 18:30 (local time)|
|Damage||1.5 million USD|
|Fatalities||1,300 fatalities (estimated) 12,000 injuries|
|Areas affected||Manikganj, Dhaka, Bangladesh|
The Daulatpur–Saturia, Bangladesh tornado occurred in the Manikganj District, Bangladesh on April 26, 1989. It was the costliest and deadliest tornado in Bangladesh's history. There is great uncertainty about the death toll, but estimates indicate that it was devastating and that it killed around 1,300 people, which would make it the deadliest tornado in history. The tornado affected the cities of Daulatpur and Saturia the most, moving east through Daulatpur and eventually northeast and into Saturia. Previously, the area that the tornado hit had been in a state of drought for six months, possibly generating tornadic conditions.
Around 6:30pm (18:30) local time, a tornado was first spotted southwest of where the majority of fatalities occurred. Information on the tornado is limited due to the rural and isolated nature of the event, but it was part of an outbreak which also saw another five people killed and 500 injured. Damage was extensive over the area, as countless trees were uprooted and every home within a six square kilometer area of the tornado's path was completely destroyed. After the storm hit, an article in the Bangladesh Observer stated that "The devastation was so complete, that barring some skeletons of trees, there were no signs of standing infrastructures". The tornado was estimated to be approximately 1.5 km (1 mi) wide, and had a path that was about 80 km (50 mi) long, through the poor areas and slums of Bangladesh. Approximately 80,000 people were left homeless by the storm, and 12,000 people were injured. Saturia and Manikganj were both completely destroyed by the tornado.
Bangladesh is one of the countries with the highest frequency of tornadoes, behind the United States and Canada, with damage and loss of life often severe due to the country's high population density and low lying communities. Bangladesh has received other deadly tornadoes, but this particular storm was the worst in the country's history.