At least 500 people were killed and villages ripped apart over night when Cyclone Sidr slammed into the southern shores of Bangladesh, CNN reports. Officials expect the death toll to rise as workers re-establish communication and transport links. Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated this week; food for at least 400,000 is on its way, and relief organizations are sending teams.
The airport is shut down, river ferries aren’t running, and many roads are too flooded to be passable. Up to 100 fishing boats have been reported missing. Whole villages of thatch, wood and tin have been flattened, according to emergency workers. Cyclone shelters developed after a 1970 cyclone killed 500,000 residents saved many lives, according to officials.