Coast guards and police in the rain-swept fishing port of Barguna in southern Bangladesh on Sunday confirmed the deaths of at least 100 fishermen.

A score of fishing trawlers were also wrecked by the rough waves in the storm-battered Bay of Bengal, Barguna's district administrator Selim Khan said.

Earlier reports on deaths and destruction said about 1,000 fishermen along with nearly 100 trawlers were missing in the high waves of the bay on Friday.

The new estimates of casualties included those who were able to return home at the weekend by swimming to the shore.

Khan said the missing fishermen were caught in an unexpected storm which also flooded part of the Bangladeshi coast early Friday.

Khan said hundreds of fishermen from Barguna went to the Bay of Bengal at the advent of the autumn fishing season.

Barguna, a prosperous town of majority fishermen and their families, is located about 300 kilometres south of the capital Dhaka.

'There were about 1,200 fishermen on the missing trawlers,' said Golam Mustafa Chowdhury of the Barguna Fishing Trawlers Association.

Chowdhury also claimed that many of their fishermen who were reported missing earlier, had returned home overnight.

Survivors reported several trawlers were damaged by the tropical squalls. Local coast guards and fire brigade divers were conducting a search and rescue operation in the turbulent sea.