Cyclone Sidr, which struck Bangladesh last week as a Category 4-force hurricane, was the second most powerful storm ever to strike Bangladesh in recorded history, according to the United Nations.
The death toll has eclipsed 3,500, and could rise as high as 10,000 or even 15,000, aid groups have warned. Disease and famine are now chief concerns, even as the damage and toll is being assessed in remote regions cut off by downed trees in the initial days after the storm.
The U.N. increased its support for the devastated country yesterday, with $8.8 million more in aid, according to UPI. International support has been pouring in from many nations, including the United States, the European Union, Britain, Japan and China. Aid groups like Save the Children, World Vision and the Red Cross/Red Crescent are aiding in the recovery, in addition to the U.N.
The U.N. estimated the toll at at 273,000 homes and over 760,000 acres of crops, according to UPI.
Bangladesh is prone to damaging flooding from storms, given it is a populous and poor low-lying delta nation. Scientists have warned that it is among the most vulnerable to changes wrought by global warming, given that sea level rise will make such storms and flooding more destructive. That, in turn, could lead to repeated humanitarian or refuge crises that could upset regional security, U.S. national security experts have warned.
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