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Helicopters fly food to survivors in Cyclone Sidr’s ‘valley of death’

Death Toll Reported Above 3000

DHAKA Villagers hit by Cyclone Sidr collect relief supplies in Patargata, 200 kilometres (125 miles) south of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

Helicopters carried food to survivors while rescuers struggled to reach remote areas devastated by the worst cyclone to hit the country in a decade, amid fears that the death toll could be considerably higher than the official figure of more than 3,000.

“The tragedy unfolds as we walk through one after another devastated villages,” said Muhammad Selim, a relief worker in Bagerhat, one of the worst-hit areas. “Often it looks like we are in a valley of death.” The confirmed death toll from the cyclone reached 3,113 yesterday, while 3,322 are injured and 1,063 missing, Lieutenant-Colonel Main Ullah Chowdhury said, as two C130 aircraft of the US Marine Corps arrived in Dhaka with medical supplies. Media reports said that the death toll had already reached 3,500, and was likely to rise sharply. “We are trying to reach all the affected areas on the vast coastline as soon as possible, then we will know how many people have died,” an official said. An estimated three million people have been affected by the cyclone, and aid workers fear outbreaks of disease. (AP/Reuters)

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