USS Kearsarge, an amphibious assault ship, arrived in Bangladesh today loaded with potable water, food, and medical supplies for some of the 2 million Bengalis displaced by Cyclone Sidr. Another American vessel bearing much-needed aid, USS Essex, is due tomorrow, Reuters reports. The Marine Corps said in a press release the relief effort began with 750 gallons of water delivered by helicopter.
Each ship carries nearly two dozen helicopters, which will bring relief supplies to people stranded in otherwise inaccessible areas. The Bengali government has received an estimated $200 million in foreign aid. Meanwhile, scientists have denied a causal link between global warming and cyclones such as Sidr, although rising sea temperature does contribute to storm intensification.