Monday, November 19, 2007
ELCA Domestic and International Disaster Response: "Disaster response organizations are mobilizing aid in Bangladesh after Cyclone Sidr left more than a quarter million families homeless and killed more than 2,000 when the storm hit the country''s western coast. The cyclone hit the southern coast of Bangladesh on Nov. 15, 2007, leaving behind a trail of devastation in 22 districts in the south and southwestern coastal areas of the country. The coastal towns of Patuakhali, Barguna and Jhalakathi, with a combined population of 700,000, were inundated by a water surge 15 feet high triggered by the cyclone. The full extent of the destruction and loss of life is not yet know. However, the cyclone was more violent then the one in April 1991. Extensive damage to houses, crops, school buildings, roads, ripping up trees and disrupting electricity and telecommunication systems have been reported. The unofficial death toll stands at more than 2,000 with the numbers rising. Hundreds of thousands of people, especially those living in coastal areas, were evacuated to safer places including near-by cyclone shelters. Many others had taken shelter in school buildings and other available facilities. Others are living under the open sky. "