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Bangladesh's missing people

It is seven weeks since cyclone Sidr struck, and there are many Bangladeshi families whose loved ones are still missing.

It is seven weeks since cyclone Sidr struck, and there are many Bangladeshi families whose loved ones are still missing.

According to the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, there are 871 people still missing as a result of the disaster, the vast majority of whom are women and children.

 

In a large-scale disaster such as this, the families of missing people, many of whom have seen their homes or livelihoods destroyed, are often forgotten. “Theirs’ is an untold story,” one aid worker on the ground in Barisal city, a major focal point for the ongoing relief operation, told IRIN. “And I’m afraid their pain will continue for some time,” he added.

Search and rescue operations are still ongoing. According to the ICRC, “Many different methods are used to trace missing people and in Bangladesh some of the simplest means are working very well: going to communities and calling out names through megaphones; using local-language newspapers and radio stations to spread the names of those missing, using mobile phones or wireless radios.”

Concern’s efforts in Bangladesh at the moment are focusing on people’s immediate needs. As well as distributing packages of food and non-food items to thousands of the poorest families who have been affected by the cyclone, Concern has, through partner organisations such as Sangram and Speed Trust, been involved in the rescue operations. Concern partners also arranged for transport of injured persons to nearest places for medical aid.