November 18, 2007

Sidr news updates

Shocking news from Bangladesh via

Bangladesh Red Crescent Society Sunday said the death toll from cyclone Sidr may touch 10,000 (official death toll surpassed 2,200 Sunday and a government official declared the disaster "a national calamity").

It will take several days to complete the search and know the actual casualty figure and extent of damage to property. Red Crescent officials said some 1,000 fishermen and about 150 boats were still unaccounted for in the Bay of Bengal.

Eyewitness accounts say that in Dhaka (around 300km from costal areas) many trees were uprooted or flattened by the force of category 3 cyclone. Just imagine how it was for the remote habitats of the southern coastal areas which faced the category 4 cyclone blow. From BDNEWS24:

- Communities in the affected south and southeastern areas are reeling from the intensity of reported 250 kmph (155 mph) winds and unexpectedly high tidal surges (10-15 feet).

- Houses in many areas have been reduced to piles of broken wood and twisted corrugated iron sheeting. Phultali bus-stand near Barshal was strewn with large billboards, stacked one on top of the other.

- Mile after mile of betel leaf plantations had been levelled, with coconut trees decapitated and few crop fields salvageable.

- Navy ships scoured coastal areas and sought to clear river channels clogged with sunken vessels.

- The relief operation has been hampered by a huge number of downed trees on the roads and highways, which has severely restricted movement in the area.

- In many areas, 95 percent of rice crops due to be harvested in a few weeks have been badly damaged, officials said. Hundreds of shrimp farms have also been washed away.

- Staying out under the open sky, thousands of survivors in Barguna are now begging for a glass of water, forgetting about the inadequate relief and shelters.

More summary of the cyclone from The Daily Star, Monday's update.

Shahidul News has a touching report "I’ve buried eleven. Just hand me a biri".

Relief efforts:

- Bangladesh Armed forces hand relief to cyclone victims.

- 2 US navy ships are coming to to facilitate rescue work in the cyclone-ravaged south.

- Aid starts pouring in for cyclone survivors. Over $25m pledged in international help till Sunday. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) have promised US$ 7m and US$ 6.8m financial grants respectively. The United States have promised US$ 2.1m, UK US $5m, and a UK based NGO US$ 4m.

Unique Tribute:

Telegu Portal reports:
Hundreds of people in Orissa paid tributes to the victims of the cyclone that killed over 1200 people in Bangladesh.

People thronged the Puri beach, 56 km from here, Sunday and paid tributes near a sand sculpture created by sand artist Sudarsan Patnaik with students of the Golden Sand Art Institute.

The sculpture showed the high tides and scattered body parts with a message near it that read ‘Help the Cyclone Victims’.

How can you help:

- Association for Bangladeshi Students: Virginia Tech

- Reaching out to Sidr Victims

- Help Bangladesh

- Sidr and what we can do from abroad


How can you help Bangladesh cyclone victims?

The demon that was in the cyclone Sidr.

The aftermath of Hurricane Sidr: signs of progress?

Sidr strikes Bangladesh

Cyclone Sidr: Blogger experiences and reactions


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