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Deadly cyclone leave millions hapless in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka

co2NEW DELHI: Tens of thousands of people in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka need aid including clean drinking water, dry food rations and medicines after a deadly cyclone hammered the South Asia region, aid agencies said yesterday. With wind speeds reaching 90 kph (56 mph) and heavy rains, cyclone Roanu struck Bangladesh on Saturday, after buffeting India and Sri Lanka in the Bay of Bengal – killing at least 120 people and affecting hundreds of thousands more in the region. Aid workers said Roanu’s torrential rains triggered flooding, landslides and tidal surges mostly in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh – ripping apart thousands of rickety homes, burying entire villages and inundating swathes of farmland. “Tens of thousands of poor families will have lost most of their assets – not just their houses, but also their food stores, seasonal crops and vital livestock such as cows, goats and ducks,” said Shakeb Nabi, Christian Aid’s Bangladesh head. “Access to food, safe drinking water, health supplies and sanitation materials is limited in some villages. Water points have been ruined, ground water contaminated and agricultural land destroyed.” In Sri Lanka, where more than a week of heavy rains has triggered the worst flooding in 25 years, the United Nations said it was worried about the spread of diseases due to large amounts of standing water. The World Health Organization said there was an increased risk of vector borne diseases like malaria, water borne and diarrheal diseases, the bacterial disease leptospirosis, fungal diseases and acute respiratory infections.–Agencies

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