No announcement yet.

Up to 10,000 dead in cyclone-hit Bangladesh: officials

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Up to 10,000 dead in cyclone-hit Bangladesh: officials

    BARGUNA, Bangladesh, November 18, 2007 (AFP) — Up to 10,000 people are dead and millions homeless and hungry in cyclone-hit Bangladesh, officials said Sunday, as the army and aid workers battled to reach the devastated coast.

    Three days after cyclone Sidr tore into one of the world's poorest nations from the Bay of Bengal, rescue workers were still fighting their way through a landscape of flattened villages and traumatised crowds.

    Survivors on the isolated southern coast, where many areas were still out of reach for aid convoys, warned they would soon die unless help arrived.

    "I lost six of my family members in the cyclone. I am afraid that the rest three of us will die of hunger. We are without food and water for the last few days," said a 55-year-old farmer, Sattar Gazi.

    "For the corpses, we don't even have clothes to wrap them in for burial... we are wrapping the bodies in leaves," he told AFP in a village situated on the Bay of Bengal coastline and smashed by a six-metre (20 foot) high tidal wave.

    Abdul Zabbar, a 50-year-old teacher, said the situation in the area - already one of the most impoverished places on earth - was unbearable.

    "There is no food and drinking water. Bodies are still floating in the rivers and paddy fields," he said, adding the rice harvest - or four months of food - had been washed away.

    Victims told an AFP correspondent who managed to reach this coastal area that they had not seen any aid workers, let alone a plane or helicopter.

    Officials said the humanitarian situation in coastal districts like Barguna, 200 kilometres (130 miles) south of the capital Dhaka, was catastrophic.

    "I have never seen such a catastrophe in my 20 years as a government administrator," said district official Harisprasad Pal.

    The chairman of the Bangladeshi Red Crescent Society, the country's central humanitarian organisation, said 3,000 bodies had already been recovered.

    He said the death toll "may cross 5,000, but it will remain below 10,000."

    Officials have stressed they expect many more victims will be found in remote areas, including around poor fishing villages in the string of small islands off the coast.

    Aid efforts were being hampered by roads blocked by fallen trees and the sheer scale of the devastation.

    "In the remote areas it is slow-going, they are almost chopping trees as they go along," said Douglas Casson Coutts of the World Food Programme, adding that officials were working with the military to organise air drops to the most inaccessible districts.

    Red Cross and Red Crescent workers said they were using their network of volunteers to distribute dried food and plastic sheeting for temporary shelters, but that many helpers were themselves victims.

    "Our estimate is that 900,000 families are affected," said Red Cross official Shafiquzzaman Rabbani.

    That figure amounts to roughly seven million people - no small task for the army helicopters and navy ships sent out to distribute food, medicine and relief materials.

    Most of the deaths were caused by the tidal wave which engulfed coastal villages, as well as flying debris and falling trees that crushed flimsy bamboo and tin homes - all that most people in Bangladesh can afford.

    A stunned 25-year-old woman, Jahanara, recounted how she managed to cling to a tree as the storm ripped away everything around her, including her husband, two sons and mother, and even the clothes on her back.

    Bangladesh was also taking stock of the ecological cost - with the Sunderbans, the world's biggest mangrove forest and home to the endangered Royal Bengal tiger, taking the brunt of the storm.

    "The cyclone has inflicted an ecological disaster," said Shanti Ranjan Das of the government's livestock department.

    The vast mangrove forest, listed as a World Heritage Site by the UN cultural organisation UNESCO, is a natural tide barrier crucial to the long-term survival of coastal communities.

  • #2


    • #3
      7asbiyallahu wa ni3mal wakeel.......

      Cyclone Sidr Hits Bangladesh Coastline – Islamic Relief Launches $6 Million Appeal to Aid Victims

      More than 600 have been confirmed dead and hundreds more have been reported injured or missing after Cyclone Sidr devastated the south western coastal belt of Bangladesh.

      The category 4 storm made it’s landfall around midnight on Thursday, Nov. 15th, triggering a 15-foot high tidal surge with wind speeds of 220km per hour. In its wake, the cyclone has so far devastated three coastal towns, sweeping away homes and destroying crop plantations.

      Islamic Relief has launched a $6 million appeal to help the victims. An initial allocation of $1 million has already been made which will be used to provide evacuees and victims with shelter, hygiene kits and medical services to treat injuries.

      The full extent of the damage remains unclear as power and communication lines are still down and one third of the country still lies in the storm’s path. Islamic Relief is working closely with the disaster management ministry to monitor the storm’s activities.

      Islamic Relief has been active in the field, helping to undertake needs-assessments in affected areas and help evacuate coastal residents. The coastal belt hosts a population of 10 million, but there are only enough storm shelters to accommodate half a million residents.

      As hundreds more people continue to be reported injured or missing, health management is quickly becoming a major concern.

      The most pressing needs include food, water, shelter, blankets and medicines.

      To donate, please click here.


      • #4
        SubhanaAllaah - so sad. Islam Channel right now is raising funds for Bangladesh.

        Abdulmismail- have you or any of your family members been affected by it?


        • #5

          Urgent! Please help and donate!

          Muslim Aid

          Muslim Hands


          • #6

            Tafalbari, Bangladesh, November 21, 2007:
            A woman shouts in pain as others push towards the entrance of a relief centre


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bent_Bladi View Post

              Cyclone Sidr Hits Bangladesh Coastline – Islamic Relief Launches $6 Million Appeal to Aid Victims

              To donate, please click here.
              Originally posted by Shotokan_Karate View Post

              Urgent! Please help and donate!

              Muslim Aid

              Muslim Hands

              Bagerhat district, Bangladesh, November 26, 2007:
              A soldier keeps guard to ensure cyclone victims stay in a queue while waiting to receive aid


              Unconfigured Ad Widget