US military emergency relief operation in Bangladesh's cyclone-battered coastal districts ended yesterday after two weeks of their work, but USAID will continue post-cyclone reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.
American warships USS Kearsarge and USS Tarawa, anchored off the coast of the Bay of Bengal, have conducted the "Operation Sea Angel-II" emergency relief operation in two phases since November 23. Bangladesh Army Chief General Moeen U. Ahmed, in a valedictory speech on board the USS Tarawa, said the military relief operation had come to an end and ship Tarawa would leave soon.
US Charge d' Affaires Geeta Pasi said civilian aid agencies, including USAID, will go on with relief efforts in the affected areas. Amy Hart Vrampas, director of the American Center, said on Thursday evening that the United States ended its emergency relief operation.
Meanwhile, helicopters from the USS Tarawa, which took over from the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge on November 3, made final sorties yesterday, dropping food, water and medicine, said Capt John Beal. The operation involved a fleet of 20 helicopters.
The US military has delivered more than 113,000 kilograms of food and medicines and 54,000 liters of drinking water. The US ships' medical teams also treated 2,355 people, the officials said.