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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 November 2007, 08:04 GMT
Bangladesh makes fresh aid plea
A child refugee of the Bangladeshi cyclone in Chalabangha village on 20 November 2007
Villagers remain in desperate need of vital supplies

Bangladesh has called for more aid for tens of thousands of Cyclone Sidr survivors, amid concerns that some remote areas have not yet been reached.

The country's army says it has yet to deliver aid to 30% of coastal villages hit five days ago by the storm.

There is anger among many villagers on the stricken south coast that they have still not received vital supplies like food, water, shelter and medicine.

The storm has affected 1m families and killed at least 3,100 people.

The death toll is expected to rise.

A statement from Bangladesh's foreign ministry said: "At this time we will welcome support from the international community. We are doing as best as we can do ourselves."

The BBC's Alastair Lawson, at Bangladesh's storm-stricken Sunderbans mangrove forest, says aid is beginning to get through and army helicopters are criss-crossing the skies.

Tense atmosphere

But the atmosphere is tense and relief when it does arrive may be too little, too late for many survivors, he says.

Bangladesh storm victims
I've been waiting here for several hours hoping to get some food and drinking water, but I'm not sure it will come
Safura Begum, survivor

Some people have barely eaten since the storm struck and our correspondent has witnessed villagers fighting over rice.

The BBC's Mark Dummett says the scenes of devastation get worse and worse the further one travels towards the coast of the Bay of Bengal.

Crowds stand along the shoreline in front of their flattened villages, waving red flags made from their clothes, he says.

Cyclone Sidr, which struck late on Thursday, packed winds of up to 240km/h (150mph) and a tidal surge of several metres.

It brought down power lines and wiped out vital crops.

Bangladesh's Red Crescent society says up to 10,000 may have died.

At the coastal town of Patharghata, mother-of-three Safura Begum told AP news agency: "I've been waiting here for several hours hoping to get some food and drinking water.

"But I'm not sure it will come."

Satellite map of affected area, and the path of Cyclone Sidr

The Bangladeshi government has already received offers of emergency aid worth $140m (68m).

Among major donors is Saudi Arabia, which has pledged $100m. The UK is sending $5m.

The US has offered $2m and is sending two amphibious naval vessels with helicopters to help the relief mission.

Coastal Bangladesh is a maze of waterways, creeks, islands and sandbanks and the only way to reach the area is by boat. The government's early-warning system is being credited with saving many lives.

Officials say that in many areas 95% of rice has been destroyed, while shrimp farms and other crops were simply washed away.

Southern Bangladesh is hit every year by cyclones and floods, but Cyclone Sidr is the most destructive storm to hit the country in more than a decade.

Another storm in 1991 left some 143,000 dead.



SEE ALSO
Q&A: Bangladesh storm aid effort
20 Nov 07 |  South Asia
Aid battle for Bangladesh victims
19 Nov 07 |  South Asia
Bangladesh cyclone hits poor hardest
18 Nov 07 |  South Asia
Animated guide: Hurricanes
01 Jun 05 |  Science/Nature
What is the South Asia monsoon?
03 Aug 07 |  South Asia

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