Official Bangladesh cyclone death toll stands at 2,217

Dhaka, November 18:

Aid agencies in Bangladesh said today they still had not reached many victims of the cyclone that killed thousands and left millions homeless and in desperate need of food, water and medicine.

“Our estimate is that 900,000 families are affected, with most deaths caused by people being washed away by the surge,” said Shafiquzzaman Rabbani of the International Red Cross. Villagers in southern Bangladesh have spoken of a six-metre high wave that engulfed vulnerable low-lying areas as Cyclone Sidr tore in from the Bay of Bengal on Thursday night, flattening village after village.

The official death toll stands at 2,217, but is expected to continue to rise.

“In the remote areas it is slow going, they are almost chopping trees as they go along,” said Douglas Casson Coutts of the World Food Programme.