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More Victims in Bangladesh Quake

July 23, 1999

MAHESHKHALI, Bangladesh (AP) _ Rescue workers today found the bodies of two more victims killed when an earthquake shook a small fishing island off the Bangladeshi coast, demolishing homes and pounding low-lying areas with crashing waves.

At least six people, including five children, died from injuries sustained in Thursday afternoon’s quake. Hundreds were injured.

About 18,000 mud-and-thatch huts _ nearly 80 percent of the homes on the island of 250,000 people _ were either destroyed or damaged by the quake, relief officials said after their first visit to Maheskhali Island from the nearby coastal town of Cox’s Bazar.

Nothing was left standing at Shaplapur, a village of 2,000 huts along the Bay of Bengal shore. Most villagers spent the night in a field after being shaken by four mild tremors that followed the 4.7 quake.

Bangladesh Red Crescent volunteers found the bodies of a 7-year-old girl and a man Friday in rubble on the island.

The quake was also felt in the coastal city of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, and the island of Sandwip, but neither area reported fatalities or damage.

Maheskhali residents said they felt the quake rumble for nearly a minute.

``Never before has such a big quake hit our areas,″ said fisherman Sultan Ahmed, 70.

The epicenter was 60 miles south of Chittagong in the Bay of Bengal, according to the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, Colo.

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