The death toll from the hurricane which hit East Pakistan on 23 October has now risen to more than 300, and 40,000 people are homeless.
The death toll from the hurricane which hit East Pakistan on 23 October has now risen to more than 300, and 40,000 people are homeless. The hurricane, reaching a peak velocity of 100 miles (160 KMS) an hour, cut a swathe of destruction in five districts near Dacca.
The heaviest casualties were in the Khulna District, about 20 miles (32 KMS) north-west of the provincial capital, where more than 200 villages were destroyed. There was also extensive damage to crops. More than 15,000 people evacuated from this district are being sheltered in a dozen relief camps.
A rescue operation was mounted by the East Pakistan Rifles and the police. The East Pakistan Governor, Vice-Admiral S.M. Ahsan, toured the worst-hit areas, giving sympathy to the victims.
Pakistan's President Yahya Khan offered heartfelt condolence to the afflicted. In a message to the administration, he said; "Please spare no effort to provide relief to the sufferers".
During the worst of the hurricane, Dacca was plunged into darkness as power lines were out. Boats sank in the harbours and fallen trees blocked roads. Several areas of the city were without water for three days.
East Pakistan has always been a target for cyclones. In the past ten years more than 50,000 are reported to have died in a succession of hurricanes. A freak cyclone in 1876 is said to have killed nearly 125,000 people.