Aids pour in Bangladesh, as death toll figure swells

November 19th, 2007 - 10:58 pm ICT by admin  

Dhaka/New Delhi, Nov 19 (ANI): The official death toll in Thursday night’s cyclonic storm in Bangladesh has crossed over 3, 000, as aid and relief workers continue to help thousands of families displaced by cyclone Sidr.
According to Bangladesh’s Red Crescent society the number of deaths could be around 10,000, as large parts of country exists where relief and rescue teams have not reached yet.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Bangladesh Air Force today started using helicopters to air-drop food to people stranded in inaccessible areas affected by last week’s cyclone.
So far WFP has delivered biscuits to more than 650,000 people in the worst hit areas by land, air and boat.
The Indian Government today decided to send a comprehensive relief package of one million dollars to the cyclone hit nation.
This package will consist of relief material required urgently by those affected, including medicine, food items, milk powder, tents and blankets, first-aid kits and other relief items, a release from India’s External Affairs Ministry stated.
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.
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.
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.
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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