Cyclone Death Toll Tops 3,100

Death toll could reach 15,000, some relief officials fear
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2007 4:27 PM CST
Cyclone-affected villagers wait for relief materials in Patargata, 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday, Nov.19, 2007. Helicopters airlifted food to hungry survivors Monday while...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The death toll from Cyclone Sidr surpassed 3,100 today, and relief officials in Bangladesh fear as many as 15,000 have been killed. Helicopters were dropping food, water, and medicine, but relief had yet to reach many remote areas, the Guardian reports. Some $25 million in initial aid has been pledged, and as many as 3.2 million people have been affected.

Mass graves were dug and families begged for clothes to wrap bodies for burial. The cyclone produced winds of 150mph, leveling more than 750,000 homes, but a new early-warning program that led to evacuations saved many lives. With crops already battered by summer flooding, Bangladesh could face a severe food crisis. In 1991, more than 130,000 people died in a similar storm.