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Aid Workers Struggle to Reach Cyclone Victims in Bangladesh; More than 1,000 Feared Dead


Aid workers are struggling to reach survivors of a powerful cyclone that struck Bangladesh's southern coast late Thursday, with local media reporting at least 11-hundred people dead.

The death toll is expected to rise once officials have access to some of the worst hit southern coastal districts (including Barguna and Jhalakathi). Cyclone Sidr has washed away villages and cut off roads, electricity and telecommunications to affected areas -- making it difficult to deliver aid.

Officials say a mass evacuation ordered in advance helped save many lives, but scores of people are still missing, including fishermen. Officials say 150 fishing boats are unaccounted for. Agricultural officials say the storm has also caused considerable destruction to rice and other crops. The United Nations' humanitarian chief said Friday the U.N. has made several millions of dollars of emergency aid available to Bangladesh. And, the U.N. World Food Program said it was sending rations for up to 400-thousand people affected by the storm.

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