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Cyclone Sidr death toll nears 3,000

Four days after Cyclone Sidr tore through the southern coast of Bangladesh, government sources have confirmed that 2,471 have died so far. There are fears that this figure will rise as it may take several days to determine the final number of dead and missing.

Sidr swept across the country hitting the Khulna and Barisal coastal belt most severely. Winds of 240 kph and torrential rain smashed through villages, tearing off roofs, ripping trees from the ground and wiping out vital crops awaiting harvest. Many people were killed by flying debris while others were washed away by tidal surges. Rescuers are still trying to reach survivors in remote areas but their efforts are being hampered by roads blocked by debris and disrupted telecommunications. Tens of thousands of houses have been destroyed leaving thousands without shelter and basic facilities. 

Cyclone Sidr comes just a few months after floods devastated the north of the country. It is the most destructive storm to hit southern Bangladesh since 1991.

What Concern is doing

Concern now has a relief programme underway to the value of €600,000 benefiting 23,000 families. Dry food, temporary shelter and drinking water will be urgently needed for people displaced in the aftermath of the cyclone.

In the run up to the hurricane Concern’s partner organisations in the coastal belt took measures alongside local government, Red Cross and Red Crescent to issue community warnings and evacuate people in vulnerable areas to shelter in cyclone shelters. These early warning systems have been credited with saving many lives.