05/30/2009, 00.00
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Still emergency in aftermath of cyclone Aila

Death toll between Indian and Bangladesh stands at 300. Millions have been affected by the disaster. Aid trickles through on boats and via airlifts. Fears for a spread of typhoid and diarrhoea.
Calcutta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The certified number of victims from cyclone Aila that hit the west coast of the Indian state of West Bengal has risen to 117. Added to them Bangladesh’s’ 178 victims and an uncertified number of displaced and what is certain is that millions have been affected by this natural disaster.

The cyclone forced an estimated 500 thousand people in India to abandon their homes.  West Bengal’s’ emergency department confirms that the over 130 thousand of the displaced have found refuge in camps set up for them by the government.  Aid is trickling through via boat or airlifts, the only forms of transport capable of gaining access to the affected areas.

Bangladesh reports at least 170 thousand made homeless and 17 thousand injured.  Many are making their way back to their homes even if the zones that were in Aila’s path are still considered to be in a state of emergency.  Authorities in Dhaka are attempting to prevent an outbreak of typhoid and diarrhoea after some deaths from the water-borne diseases in Satkhira district. Aid is struggling to arrive because of the break down in all communications and infrastructure in the area.  There is a shortage of food and medicine and in response to the emergency the government has set aside 4.6 million dollars and 19 thousand tonnes of rice for the affected population.

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