The Intersection

Cyclone Sidr: Death Toll Rising

I don’t like that if you look at news reports over the past three hours or so, we find differing–but possibly escalating–reports of the casualties in Bangladesh. The highest estimate I’ve seen yet comes from Reuters Canada: “killed more than 500 people in Bangladesh and left thousands injured or missing.” News is still rolling in, though. I don’t think we really have any idea yet how bad it was.

Now is the time to think about humanitarian donations–the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies is a good start.


  1. #1 Dave Munger
    November 16, 2007

    One thing to remember is that even if the immediate death toll from the cyclone doesn’t grow any higher, at a minimum hundreds of thousands of people are homeless, and countless farmers’ livelihoods have been destroyed. The long-term impact will surely be devastating.

  2. #2 Kathy Ward
    November 16, 2007

    New York Yimes and others are reporting 600-1000 deaths and this will only go higher. rescuers are having a hard time getting to affected areas.

    friends in Bangladesh report other big problems: lack of good, safe water to drink! waterborne diseases are the next wave of problems among others. the Bangladesh power grid keeps tripping and in Dhaka they haven’t had any water or much power since the storm. the Daily Star newspaper is having problems updating owing to power problems. computers must have power and many people are relying on generators right now.

  3. #3 John Fleck
    November 16, 2007

    Chris –

    My experience in covering natural disasters is that the first reports understate the damage, simply because they come from the places that still have communications infrastructure. In the LA earthquakes I covered back in my days there, I saw what I’ve described as the “donut” effect – initial reporting from the fringes of the most severely damaged area rather than the epicenter. Initial disaster reporting is always wrong, usually on the low side.

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