Cyclone Deaths in Thousands

Local reports estimate 2,000 dead, as rescue efforts begin
By Kate Schwartz,  Newser User
Posted Nov 17, 2007 8:46 AM CST
Hundreds of Bangladeshi people affected by Tropical Cyclone Sidr gather as relief supplies are unloaded at Bagerhat in Khulna district, 136 kilometers,(85 miles) south east of Bangladesh's capital Dhaka,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – More than 1,000 have been confirmed dead in the wake of Thursday's cyclone in Bangladesh, but local news reports double that number, as a virtual national blackout and debris-filled roads have stymied efforts to assess the true brunt of the storm, reports the BBC. "We are expecting that thousands of dead bodies may be found within a few days," says a disaster-relief official.

The struggling rescue effort received a boost today as helicopters began delivering supplies to areas where crops have all but been obliterated: Shrimp farms have simply vanished, and 95% of the upcoming December rice harvest was lost. As communication and power problems persist, elephants have begun clearing roads to remote areas where more than 20,000 homes are believed damaged.