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2,300 dead in Bangladesh cyclone

Mehtab Singh

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BARGUNA (Bangladesh): Hungry survivors scrambled for food on Sunday as rescue workers cleared fallen trees and twisted roofs from roads to reach remote villages after a cyclone battered Bangladesh, leaving 2,300 people dead and thousands homeless.

Relief officials said the death toll could rise sharply as rescuers reach more isolated areas. But relief items — tents, rice, water — were slow to reach many survivors.

The death toll from tropical cyclone Sidr, the worst storm to hit the country in a decade, rose to at least 2,300 as officials made contact with coastal regions that had been cut off by the storm, said Selina Shahid of the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management.

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society said the toll could hit 10,000 once rescuers reached outlying islands.

Mohammad Abdur Rob, chairman of the society, said the estimate came from the assessments of thousands of volunteers taking part in the rescue operations.

On the devastated coast, rescue workers struggled to reach many survivors. — AP

India’s offer

New Delhi Staff Reporter writes:

President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have expressed their condolences over the deaths and pledged support and relief to the people of Bangladesh.

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