President condoles loss of lives in Bangladesh hurricane; toll crosses 2000

November 18th, 2007 - 7:20 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi/Dhaka, Nov 18 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today condoled the loss of lives in Bangladesh, which has been hit by a hurricane.

Patil in her condolence message to Bangladesh President Iajuddin Ahmed said that she was deeply saddened to learn about the tragic loss of lives and substantial damage to property in the aftermath of the hurricane.

She conveyed her condolences to the President and the people of Bangladesh.

Patil also expressed the confidence that as always, the people of Bangladesh will face this tragedy with courage and fortitude.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also offered India’s help in whatever assistance is needed for cyclone relief.

Meanwhile the death toll in the cyclone-hit country has touched the 2,000-mark, while thousands of survivors of the Sidr that hit the country on Thursday night were still waiting for relief aid, Bangladeshi authorities said.

With a wind speed of up to 240 kph, the cyclone roared in from the Bay of Bengal just before dusk on Thursday, killing over a thousand and damaging homes and crops.

Bangladesh military along with help of domestic and foreign navy assistance have stepped into the relief and rescue operations.

Several international organisations and donors have also extended help to the devastated country.

The German government offered 731, 345 dollars, while the European Union released 2.2 million dollars in relief aid. The Rome-based World Food Program was rushing in food, and the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society was sending thousands of workers to stricken areas.

Washington has sent two US Navy amphibious assault help authorities in relief and rescue operations.

Experts believe that now the affected areas of the country may face food shortages and problem of safe drinking water.

According to rescuers and volunteers, it would take weeks to assess the actual death toll, financial loss, and days to reach relief to people who have been forced to live under the open skies.

Over 40,000 policemen, soldiers, coast guards and health workers have been deployed along the coast for rescue operations.

Southern Bangladesh is often hit by cyclones, but experts say the latest is a category four storm, the most powerful so far in the season.
Close to five lakh people died in 1970 when a cyclone hit the country. A similar storm claimed 143,000 lives in 1991. (ANI)

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