The saying that time is a great healer seems to be true even amongst the survivors of the horror which struck the coastal strip of East Pakistan on November 13.
The saying that time is a great healer seems to be true even amongst the survivors of the horror which struck the coastal strip of East Pakistan on November 13. On that day a savage cyclone tore through the land followed by a massive tidal wave. Thousands were killed, thousands left homeless. The countryside was ravished, crops destroyed, livestock killed. Hundreds of thousands were left starving. Yet little more than two weeks later, the people of this land are rebuilding. Supplies, at last are reaching them. There is hope again.
Throughout the devastated area people are rebuilding their homes. Primitive though the shacks may be, they at least provide shelter.
Even more important is the fact that supplies are now reaching those who so desperately need them. Food, clothing, blankets and the essentials to sustain life are flowing in.
Among the many rescue squads and task forces from all over the world which are now opera ting in the disaster region are men of the British Royal Marines and Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. These servicemen are covering a huge area with helicopters and shallow-draught boats. They are based at Patuakhali, but have established forward store depots in distressed area from which they can be more easily distributed.
The British Royal Air Force is also much in evidence. Hercules freighter aircraft constantly carry out airlift missions, parachuting supplies deep into the worst hit zones.
The final death toll resulting from the disaster is still not known - it may never be; many corpses still lie rotting in the fields and on river banks, but unofficial estimates believe that the number of dead may exceed a quarter-of-a-million.
Yet, even in the midst of all this horror, the people of disaster struck East Pakistan fight to live - and are rebuilding to prove their tenacious desire for life.