DHAKA/KOLKATA (Reuters) - A cyclone slammed into parts of Bangladesh and eastern India on Monday, triggering tidal surges and flooding that forced some half a million people from their homes and killed almost three dozen people. Storm officials in coastal Bangladesh moved about 500,000 people to temporary shelters after they left their homes to escape huge tidal waves churned by winds up to 100 kph. Heavy rains triggered by the storm also raised river levels and burst mud embankments in the Sundarbans delta in the neighbouring eastern Indian state of West Bengal. The affected area is home to hundreds of thousands of people as well as the worlds biggest tiger reserve. The cyclone killed at least 33 people, including 18 in West Bengal, officials from the two countries said. Most victims either drowned or were killed in house collapses or crushed under uprooted trees. Indian Oil Corp suspended operations of its single-point mooring facility at Paradip port in eastern India, while authorities shut down operations at Bangladeshs main ports of Chittagong and Mongla. The cyclone and tidal waves damaged roads and embankments and levelled standing crops over vast areas, officials said. Another high tide is due. We fear that the situation may deteriorate, police inspector Mohammad Belayet Hossain said from Bangladeshs coastal Bhola district. Salahuddin Chowdhury, a Bangladesh cyclone official, said: Nearly 500,000 people who fled (their) homes have been sheltered in several hundred shelters in eight coastal districts so far. About 400,000 people remained marooned in Sundarbans. No assistance could be reached to them because of stormy conditions and turbulent rivers, said Kanti Ganguly, state minister for the Sundarbans. Our village is submerged, we are living in camps and have no clue what further calamity awaits us, Anil Krishna Mistry, a villager, told Reuters by telephone from Bali in Sundarbans. Heavy rains caused flooding in the streets of state capital Kolkata as strong winds uprooted trees and communication lines. Television pictures showed rescue workers struggling to free a man trapped in his car. Tourists were asked to stay in their hotels in West Bengals southern coastal resort of Digha, four hours drive from Kolkata. Tidal waves triggered by the storm in the Bay of Bengal damaged thousands of houses in Bangladesh, mostly in Khulna district near the Sundarbans. The storm surge washed away dozens of shrimp farms and inundated rice fields in Bangladesh, which is battered by storms every year. In November 2007, Cyclone Sidr ravaged a large part of the countrys coast, killing nearly 3,500 people and displacing around two million. Around 100 villages along Indias eastern coast were under water, according to government minister Kanti Ganguly. Officials had earlier evacuated around 100,000 people from the less populated Indian side of the Sundarbans mangrove forest. In Bangladesh, 400,000 people were moved from five districts to cyclone shelters and schools before the storm hit, with another 300,000 others stranded by flooding along the coast. Dozens of levees have burst due to a tidal water surge as high as 12 feet, leaving at least 200,000 people stranded, area chief Kazi Atiur Rahman told AFP. The situation is very grave here. Hundreds of mud-built houses and bamboo shacks have been washed away. Even the office where I am working is five feet under water, he said. In Koyra, another area close to the Sundarbans, about 100,000 people were marooned after a nearby dam burst, sub-district chief Arif Pasha said. The surge has also flooded the town of Barguna, in the district of the same name, with other low-lying areas and islands in the vicinity also under water after levees overflowed, a local official said. District chiefs in neighbouring Satkhira, Patuakhali and Bagerhat said that they evacuated another 230,000 people as a tidal surge along with strong wind and heavy rains hit the coastal villages. In November 2007, more than 3,500 people were killed when Cyclone Sidr hit the same districts, the second-strongest storm recorded in Bangladesh. The low-lying country frequently experiences tropical storms and cyclones during the monsoon season. The first of the season made landfall last month causing little damage. In 1970, some half a million people died when a cyclone hit the impoverished country, while an estimated 138,000 people died as a result of a cyclonic surge in 1991. The lower death tolls in 1991 and 2007 were attributed to a network of cyclone shelters and a warning system introduced after the 1970 disaster.