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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 11:18 AM
Original message
Meanwhile, there's a great human tragedy going on in Bangladesh....
from the AP via Yahoo!:



Bangladesh cyclone kills at least 1,723
By PARVEEN AHMED, Associated Press Writer
24 minutes ago



DHAKA, Bangladesh - Hundreds of thousands of survivors were trapped Saturday behind roads blocked by fallen trees, iron roofs and thick sludge as rescue workers fought to reach towns along Bangladesh's coast that were ravaged by a powerful cyclone that killed at least 1,723 people.

Tropical Cyclone Sidr, the deadliest storm to hit the country in a decade, destroyed tens of thousands of homes in southwest Bangladesh on Thursday and ruined much-needed crops just before harvest season in this impoverished, low-lying South Asian country. More than a million coastal villagers were forced to evacuate to government shelters.

The official death toll rose to 1,723 and authorities feared the figure could rise further as the country works to recover.

The government scrambled Saturday to join international agencies and local officials in the rescue mission, deploying military helicopters, thousands of troops and naval ships.

Rescuers trying to get food and water to people stranded by flooding struggled to clear roads that were so bad they said they'll have to return on bicycles.

"We will try again tomorrow on bicycles, and hire local country boats," M. Shakil Anwar of CARE said from the city of Khulna.

Along the coast, 150 mph winds flung small ferries ashore like toy boats, cutting off migrant fishing communities who live on and around hundreds of tiny islands across the area's web of river channels. .....(more)

The complete piece is at: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071117/ap_on_re_as/banglad...




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donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
1. keep on driving, driving, driving, and you too can experience


killer storms
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. PM kick....
:kick:
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. But, they're just little brown people.
:sarcasm: :sarcasm: :sarcasm: :sarcasm:

NOT :sarcasm: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
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Shallah Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. make that little brown Islamic people
they are the wrong color and wrong religion for the current political powers that be to give a damn.

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
4. This is horrific!
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. I don't think people realize the seriousness of this situation
Already, more than half the number of those who died in 9/11 have died in this storm.

And the population of Bangladesh is concentrated in these coastal areas. Global Warming is going to make these storms much more severe on the local populations with the rising of sea levels.

This is not just an isolated incident. Expect more of this to be coming in the next decades.

Unless the extreme poverty of this area is solved soon, the 9/11 deaths will seem utterly insignificant.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. Expect the number of dead to climb
Bangladesh is already poor beyond belief. Further they already had devastating floods earlier this year.
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Shallah Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 12:27 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Yes they were already in food shortage and lost more now including 600,000 tons of rice
according to this article
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20071118/twl-uk-banglades...

The figure could be even higher when reports from all affected areas become available, an official at the agriculture ministry said on Sunday.

With the estimated loss due to the cyclone, the yield of the country's main rice variety, Aman, might fall short of target by over 1.6 million tonnes this season, ministry officials said.

Successive floods in July-September had washed away at least 1 million tonnes of Aman rice, they said.

snip

Tropical cyclone Sidr has also taken a heavy toll on livestock, fisheries, trees and vegetables in the country's south and southwestern coastal areas.

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Junkdrawer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
7. Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are accepting donations...
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Thanks for those links.....
n/t
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
9. Unfortunately Bangladesh is a country that will always be vulnerable

Bangladesh history is not "pretty"..and I doubt it will get better, anytime soon :)

from wikipedia:

Capital
(and largest city) Dhaka
2342′N, 9022′E
Official languages Bengali (Bangla)
Demonym Bangladeshi
Government Parliamentary republic
- President Iajuddin Ahmed
- Prime Minister vacant
- Chief Adviser (Interim Caretaker Government)
Fakhruddin Ahmed
Independence from Pakistan
- Declared March 26, 1971
- Victory Day December 16 1971
Area
- Total 144,000 km (94th)
55,599 sq mi
- Water (%) 7.0
Population
- 2007 estimate 150,448,340<1> (7th)
- 2001 census 129,247,2331
- Density 1045/km (11th)
2,706/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2007 estimate
- Total $360.9 billion (31st)
- Per capita $2,270 (144th)
Gini? (2000) 31.8 (medium)
HDI (2004) 0.530 (medium) (137th)
Currency Taka (BDT)
Time zone BDT (UTC+6)
- Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+6)
Internet TLD .bd
Calling code +880
1 Adjusted population, p.4, Population Census 2001, Preliminary Report. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (2001-08).

This article refers to the People's Republic of Bangladesh. For other uses of "Bangladesh", see Bangladesh (disambiguation)

Bangladesh (helpinfo) (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ <'baŋlad̪eʃ> Bangladesh), officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh (Bengali: গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ Gnoprojatontri Bangladesh), is a country in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Myanmar to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south. Together with the Indian state of West Bengal, it makes up the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh means "Country of Bengal" in the official Bengali language.

The borders of the region that constitutes present day Bangladesh were established in the 1947 Partition of India when the region became the eastern wing of newly formed Pakistan. The pairing, based on their common religion (Islam), proved geographically awkward since an expanse of foreign Indian territory, 1 600 km (1 000 mi) wide, separated the two wings. Subjected to political and linguistic discrimination as well as economic neglect at the hands of West Pakistan, the Bengalis of East Pakistan declared independence in 1971. After a civil war, with help from India and the USSR, Bangladesh was born. In spite of its liberation narrative, Bangladesh's development has since been marred by political turmoil, with fourteen different heads of government and at least four military coups.

Bangladesh is among the most densely populated countries in the world. The population is generally poor and living in rural conditions. Geographically the country straddles the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta and is subject to annual monsoon floods and cyclones. The government is a secular parliamentary democracy which has been suspended under emergency law since January 2007. Bangladesh is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, SAARC, BIMSTEC, the OIC and the D-8.
Contents



History
The Shaheed Minar, which commemorates the Language Movement, is a well known landmark in Bangladesh.
The Shaheed Minar, which commemorates the Language Movement, is a well known landmark in Bangladesh.

Remnants of civilisation in the greater Bengal region date back four thousand years,<2><3> when the region was settled by Dravidian, Tibeto-Burman, and Austro-Asiatic peoples. The exact origin of the word "Bangla" or "Bengal" is unknown, though it is believed to be derived from Bang, the Dravidian-speaking tribe that settled in the area around the year 1000 BCE.<4>

After the arrival of Indo-Aryans, the kingdom of Gangaridai was formed from at least the seventh century BCE, which later united with Bihar under the Magadha and Maurya Empires. Bengal was later part of the Gupta Empire from the third to the sixth centuries CE. Following its collapse, a dynamic Bengali named Shashanka founded an impressive yet short-lived kingdom. After a period of anarchy, the Buddhist Pala dynasty ruled the region for four hundred years, followed by a shorter reign of the Hindu Sena dynasty. Islam was introduced to Bengal in the twelfth century by Sufi missionaries, and subsequent Muslim conquests helped spread Islam throughout the region.<5> Bakhtiar Khilji, a Turkish general, defeated Lakshman Sen of the Sena dynasty and conquered large parts of Bengal. The region was ruled by dynasties of Sultans and feudal lords for the next few hundred years. By the sixteenth century, the Mughal Empire controlled Bengal, and Dhaka became an important provincial centre of Mughal administration.

European traders arrived late in the fifteenth century, and their influence grew until the British East India Company gained control of Bengal following the Battle of Plassey in 1757.<6> The bloody rebellion of 1857, known as the Sepoy Mutiny, resulted in transfer of authority to the crown, with a British viceroy running the administration.<7> During colonial rule, famine racked the Indian subcontinent many times, including the Great Bengal famine of 1943 that claimed 3 million lives.<8>

Between 1905 and 1911, an abortive attempt was made to divide the province of Bengal into two zones, with Dhaka being the capital of the eastern zone.<9> When India was partitioned in 1947, Bengal was partitioned along religious lines, with the western part going to India and the eastern part joining Pakistan as a province called East Bengal (later renamed East Pakistan), with its capital at Dhaka.<10>

In 1950, land reform was accomplished in East Bengal with the abolishment of the feudal zamindari system<11> However, despite the economic and demographic weight of the east, Pakistan's government and military were largely dominated by the upper classes from the west. The Bengali Language Movement of 1952 was the first sign of friction between the two wings of Pakistan.<12> Dissatisfaction with the central government over economic and cultural issues continued to rise through the next decade, during which the Awami League emerged as the political voice of the Bengali-speaking population. It agitated for autonomy in the 1960s, and in 1966, its president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was jailed; he was released in 1969 after an unprecedented popular uprising.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, founder of Bangladesh.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, founder of Bangladesh.

In 1970, a massive cyclone devastated the coast of East Pakistan, and the central government responded poorly. The Bengali population's anger was compounded when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, whose Awami League won a majority in Parliament in the 1970 elections,<13> was blocked from taking office. After staging compromise talks with Mujib, President Yahya Khan arrested him on the night of March 25, 1971, and launched Operation Searchlight,<14> a sustained military assault on East Pakistan. Yahya's methods were extremely bloody, and the violence of the war resulted in many civilian deaths.<15> Chief targets included intellectuals and Hindus, and about ten million refugees fled to neighbouring India (LaPorte,<16> p. 103). Estimates of those massacred range from three hundred thousand to 3 million.<17><18>

Most of the Awami League leaders fled and set up a government-in-exile in Calcutta, India. The Bangladesh Liberation War lasted for nine months. The guerrilla Mukti Bahini and Bengali regulars eventually received support from the Indian Armed Forces in December 1971. Under the command of Lt. General J.S. Arora, the Indian Army achieved a decisive victory over Pakistan on 16 December,1971, taking over 90,000 prisoners of war<19> in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

After its independence, Bangladesh became a parliamentary democracy, with Mujib as the Prime Minister. In the 1973 parliamentary elections, the Awami League gained an absolute majority. A nationwide famine occurred during 1973 and 1974,<8> and in early 1975, Mujib initiated a one-party socialist rule with his newly formed BAKSAL. On August 15, 1975, Mujib and his family were assassinated by mid-level military officers.<20>

A series of bloody coups and counter-coups in the following three months culminated in the ascent to power of General Ziaur Rahman, who reinstated multi-party politics and founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Zia's rule ended when he was assassinated in 1981 by elements of the military.<20> Bangladesh's next major ruler was General Hossain Mohammad Ershad, who gained power in a bloodless coup in 1982 and ruled until 1990, when he was forced to resign under western donor pressure in a major shift in international policy after the end of communism when anti-communist dictators were no longer felt necessary. Since then, Bangladesh has reverted to a parliamentary democracy. Zia's widow, Khaleda Zia, led the Bangladesh Nationalist Party to parliamentary victory at the general election in 1991 and became the first female Prime Minister in Bangladesh's history. However, the Awami League, headed by Sheikh Hasina, one of Mujib's surviving daughters, clinched power at the next election in 1996 but lost to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party again in 2001. Bangladesh enjoys the distinction of having two female politicians leading national politics.

In January of 2007, following widespread violence, a caretaker government was appointed to administer the next general election. The country had suffered from extensive corruption,<21> disorder and political violence. The new caretaker government has made it a priority to root out corruption from all levels of government. To this end, many notable politicians and officials, along with large numbers of lesser officials and party members, have been arrested on corruption charges. The caretaker government claims to be paving the way for free and fair elections to be held before the end of 2008.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 03:50 AM
Response to Original message
12. kick with a graphic.
Population density map of Bangladesh for regions less than 10 meters in elevation (red areas) and higher than 10 meters (green areas). The path of Tropical Cyclone Sidr took it inland over the Sundarbans Forest, the least populated region of the coast. However, the more heavily populated provinces just to the right of the Forest, Barguna and Patuakhali, received a storm surge of 10-20 feet. A storm surge of 20 feet was reported at Charkhali, at the head of a narrow estuary connected to the ocean. Image credit: CIESEN, Columbia University.


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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 05:25 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Unbelievable suffering and death
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7100359.stm
<snip>
Rescuers are continuing efforts to try to reach people hit by a powerful cyclone that tore through southern Bangladesh killing at least 2,000.

"Village after village has been shattered," said Harisprasad Pal, a local official in hard-hit Jhalokati district.

"I have never seen such a catastrophe in my 20 years as a government administrator," he said.

Survivors described whole houses being picked up and blown away as the storm rushed through southern Bangladesh.

"I have never seen such a terrible scene. It was like hell," said Manik Roy, a businessman in Jhalokati.
----
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