Over 1, 100 feared dead as Cyclone Sidr hits Bangladesh

November 17th, 2007 - 11:54 am ICT by admin  

Dhaka, Nov 17 (ANI): Over 1, 100 were feared dead and thousands others injured in Bangladesh, as the powerful Cyclone Sidr lashed the country’s south and south-western regions on Thursday night, according to media reports. With a wind speed of up to 240 kph, the cyclone had roared in from the Bay of Bengal just before dusk on Thursday, killing thousands and damaging homes and crops.
I’ve never seen anything like this in my 47 years life, said Khalilur Rahman, another government official in Patuakhali, adding that it was a panic beyond description.
People found no way but to keep on screaming as long as the cyclone ran rampage here, the Daily Star quoted him, as saying.
At least 650,000 coastal villagers had moved to cyclone shelters where they were given emergency rations, Ali Imam Majumder, a senior government official, told reporters here.
According to a Met official, Eyes of the cyclone crossed the Boleshar river near Sundarbans and then razed across southern districts before approaching towards Dhaka through Faridpur.
Many people are thought to have been killed as falling trees levelled fragile houses made of thatch, wood and tin.
Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated before the storm hit the coast from the Bay of Bengal, but some were left behind.
The cyclone has damaged tens of thousands of homes and the recent crop harvest as well.
The Patuakhali district also suffered most in the farm sector. At least seven other southern districts Barguna, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Bhola, Madaripur, Barisal and Bagerhat suffered nearly the same fate of Patuakhali.
According to rescuers and volunteers, it will take weeks to assess the actual death toll, financial loss and days to reach relief to people who are forced to live overnight under the open sky.
The World Food Programme is providing emergency food rations to 400,000 people. Besides, team from the government, the Red Crescent and other NGOs has been pressed into service to the affected areas.
Over 40,000 policemen, soldiers, coastguards and health workers have been deployed along the coast.
Bangladesh’s Home Ministry on Friday said that several districts could still not be contacted as telephones and communications were cut and reports of casualties were confused.
The worst affect of the Cyclone Sidr was felt on Bangladesh’s southern coastal strip. At least three villages on the south coast were flattened by the storm.
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.
In Bangladesh, 500,000 people were died in a 1970 cyclone and 143,000 people were killed by a similar storm in 1991. (ANI)

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