From Reuters News Agency

NETROKONA, Bangladesh (Reuters) - Bangladeshi authorities sent food and emergency supplies

to the north on Friday as the toll from a violent storm rose to 66 with bodies recovered

from ponds, rice fields and ruined homes.
Survivors buried the dead and tended injured, many lying in the open. In several villages,

mass prayers were held for the victims.
"Village after village is lying in ruins. People are still in trauma. Only the brave are

trying to rebuild their lives," said Prasanta Kumar Das, a local official in Netrokona, a

town in the north near areas that bore the brunt of the storm on Wednesday night.
Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia and opposition leader Sheikh Hasina were both due to visit

devastated villages on Friday, officials said.
The death toll was expected to rise further as many of about 2,000 people injured in the

storm were still in critical condition, officials and witnesses said.
Hospitals were crammed with hundreds of people seeking treatment for injuries caused by

flying debris.
Many were hit by corrugated tin ripped off roofs; others broke legs or hands or were found

half buried in swampy rice fields, witnesses said.
"We are facing an uphill battle trying to reach all the victims and getting aid to them.

There is a lot of work ahead of us," Nurul Islam, an aid worker, said from Netrokona.
Officials said tens of thousands of people were made homeless when the tornado-speed winds

tore through at least 20 villages in Mymensingh and Netrokona districts.
Paddy fields were damaged both by winds and hailstones accompanying rain, officials said.
Officials supervising rescue and relief efforts said the scale of destruction suggested the

wind speed could have been more than 250 kph (150 mph) and the Dhaka meteorology office said

the storm was probably a tornado.
Storms and tornadoes are common in densely populated Bangladesh in the hot season, sometimes

killing hundreds of people.
(Additional reporting by Nizam Ahmed)

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The News Today
Tornado kills 70
Our Correspondent
 
MYMENSINGH, Apr 15: At least 70 people including women and children were killed and hundreds

injured when a tornado hit 25 villages in Mymensingh and Netrakona districts yesterday. Many

villagers have been missing as the violent storm left a trail of devastation in the villages

of Haluaghat upazila in Mymensingh. UNB adds: Official sources confirmed 56 deaths, but

locals said the figure must be around 70 or more as reports of death and destruction caused

by the twister were emerging from remote areas. According to reports received from the

tornado-hit areas, at least 42 people were killed in Netrakona and 30 in Mymensingh as

houses, trees-almost anything that fell in the course of the violent storm — were blown

down.
Many villagers missing as the violent storm leaves a trail of devastation in Mymensingh,

Netrakona
 

MYMENSINGH, Apr 15: At least 70 people including women and children were killed and hundreds

injured when a tornado hit 25 villages in Mymensingh and Netrakona districts yesterday.
Many villagers have been missing as the violent storm left a trail of devastation in the

villages of Haluaghat upazila in Mymensingh.
UNB adds: Official sources confirmed 56 deaths, but locals said the figure must be around 70

or more as reports of death and destruction caused by the twister were emerging from remote

areas.
According to reports received from the tornado-hit areas, at least 42 people were killed in

Netrakona and 30 in Mymensingh as houses, trees-almost anything that fell in the course of

the violent storm — were blown down.
Many villagers remained missing since the scourge
struck early Wednesday night.
Of the injured, about 400 people were admitted to the Mymensingh Medical College Hospital

and 100 others to the Haluaghat Health Complex.
Police sources in Netrakona said some 26 people were killed in Sadar and five in Purbadhala

upazila. Seven injured people of Netrakona died at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital.
They said 18 people died in Haluaghat, but unofficial tally rose to 30 in the upazila of

Mymensingh district. Names of 21 of the victims were available.
The tornado hit frontier upazila Haluaghat at about 6:45 pm while Netrakona Sadar and

Purbadhala upazilas at around 9 pm. The scourge lasted a few minutes only.
Six villages in Haluaghat were reduced to wrecks. The villages are Gazirvita, Boalmara,

Sumuliapara, Surjapur, Najobkanda and Kalianikanda.
Worst hit were three villages in Netrakona Sadar upazila--Uladi, Kanchanpur and Balia--and

four villages of Purbadhala Sadar, Dhala, Agia and Bhogla of Purbadhala upazila.
Survivors said the severe tornado left the villages as a barren land under rubble within few

minutes. Abul Kashem of Sumuliapara in Haluaghat who survived the frenzy of the nature said

that there came drizzling before the cruel tornado hit the villages with big bang. “As I got

back sense, I found nothing around me… everything was swept away by the storms,” Kashem

said.
George Mia of Kaliakandi village said he could only see the bodies of victims and hear wails

of the injured people as the tornado with all its cruelty flattened houses, crops and trees.

“The intensity of the tornado was so strong that even fishes swam out of ponds,” he said.
President Professor Dr. Iajuddin Ahmed visited Mymensingh Medical College Hospital at around

12:35 pm and inquired about the treatment of the injured people.
Health Minister Dr. Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Disaster Management and Relief Minister

Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf, State Minister for Energy AKM Musharraf Hossain and State

Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar visited the tornado-hit Netrakona Sadar and

Purbadhala and Haluaghat upazilas Thursday noon.
The Ministers also visited the MMCH and inquired about the treatment of the injured people.
Meanwhile another report from Dhaka adds: Prime Minister Khaleda Zia Thursday expressed deep

sorrow at the loss of lives and property in tornadoes that hit Netrakona and Mymensingh

districts Wednesday night.
In a message, the Prime Minister conveyed her sympathy to the family members of the victims

and prayed for salvation of the departed souls.
She also wished early recovery of the injured and asked the authorities concerned to provide

necessary treatment to those injured in the tornadoes.
The Prime Minister also directed the public representatives and the district administration

to expedite relief and rehabilitation works in the affected areas.
UNB further adds: Opposition leader Sheikh Hasina will visit tornado-hit areas of Netrakona

and Mymensingh districts today (Friday).
She will first visit Mymensingh Medical College Hospital to see the injured in the morning.

Later, she will visit Haluaghat and Gazir Vita in Mymensingh and Mougati and Medini areas in

Netrakona sadar, which were devastated by Wednesday’s tornado, to express her sympathy to

the tornado-hit people.
 
 

 
 Front Page
Daily Star

 
  66 killed as twisters tear thru' 2 districts
700 injured, seven villages stand in ruins in Mymensingh, Netrakona
Staff Correspondent

Twin tornadoes packing destructive winds cut swathes through Netrakona and Mymensingh

districts on Wednesday, killing at least 66 people and injuring over 2000 others, police and

witnesses said.
The twisters, coinciding with the celebrations of New Year's Day on Bangla calendar, also

destroyed thousands of houses, sent debris flying in every direction and destroyed crops in

the fields.
Our Netrakona correspondent adds: Three idyllic villages in Sadar upazila stood in matchwood

as one of the giant tornadoes with wind speeds of 120km an hour tore through the area for 20

minutes from 7:45pm, killing 42 people. Another six people were killed by the raging winds

in Purbadhala upazila.
The twister, accompanied by hails, flattened about 7,000 houses, levelled trees, knocked

down electric poles and rained debris on people running for cover after house collapse.
The dead, largely fatally hit by flying corrugated iron roofs, included Golam Hossain, 30,

Sathi, 5, Mukta, 40, Haji Akhtaruddin, 60, Rupchand, 16, Bakul, 25, Faruq, 8, Nur Jahan, 40,

Asia, 75, Harun, 10, Alpana, 25, Jaheda, 14, Kajal, 20, Jubed Ali, 22, Noor Jahan, 40, and

Adam Khan, 65.
Our Mymensingh correspondent adds: At least 18 people, including nine women and three

children, were killed and 400 others injured when the tornado ripped through four villages

in Haluaghat upazila.
The dead included Aklima, 12, Jinat Ali, 42, his daughter Tahera Khatun, 5, Anju Ara Khatun,

Selina Khatun, 30, Mansura, 2, Shila, 4, Banesa, 20, Julmat Ali, 40, Abeng Deo, 35, Selina

Azim, 20, Mohila Azim, 40, Pahela Patra, 20, Dr Gazi Shamsul Huda, 30, and Zhiti Kuda, 45.
Police said the violent twister, unheard of in the living memory in the area, razed over 300

houses to the ground in Gazir Bhita, Boalmara, Sumergulia Para and Surjopur villages.
'RUSH RELIEF’
"I have never ever seen such a monster twister rumble through our village," said 60-year-old

Abdur Rahim of village Sumergulia.
"Most villagers are living in the open in the wake of the disaster. They are in dire need of

food, shelter and medicine. The authorities should rush relief in the flattened villages," a

villager said.
Russell Ahmed, a college student of the neighbourhood, said the death count could have

climbed higher if people from neighbouring villages did not come to the rescue of the

injured.
Our Moulvibazar correspondent adds: A nor'wester lashed four villages in Rajnagar upazila in

the district, leaving 60 people injured and 450 houses damaged.
Over 300 people, injured in the tornadoes, are undergoing treatment in Mymensingh Medical

College Hospital (MMCH) and 400 others in Netrakona Sadar Hospital and Haluaghat Health

Complex.
President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday visited the MMCH to see the tornado-injured people.
After a scheduled programme in the town, he went to the hospital and asked the doctors to

ensure proper treatment of the injured.
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia expressed profound shock at the loss of life and property in the

tornadoes and Leader of the Opposition Sheikh Hasina was planning a visit to the devastated

villages today.
Health Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Relief and Disaster Management Minister

Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf and State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar rushed to the

tornado-torn areas yesterday and distributed Tk 5 lakh in cash, 200 tonnes of rice and 2,000

bundles of corrugated iron sheets in Netrakona.
FARMS IN PERIL
The agriculture ministry said the tornadoes and a train of nor'westers at the beginning of

this summer destroyed farm productions, especially boro rice, wheat, jute and summer

vegetables on 6,850 hectares in 11 central, northern and northeastern districts.
The storms presented a drag on the production of boro in Comilla, Brahmanbaria, Netrakona,

Naogaon, Bogra, Rangpur, Nilphamari, Rajshahi, Sirajganj, Sunamganj and Moulvibazar

districts. The crop showed signs of good harvest this year.
The Netrakona tornado damaged 20 percent of crops and uprooted 11,000 fruit trees, officials

told The Daily Star.
The tornado in Haluaghat destroyed watermelons on 40 hectares and played havoc with summer

vegetables.
Boro, which contributes half of Bangladesh's annual rice output, was cultivated in 4 million

hectares this year, up from 3.6 million hectares last year.
Despite a prolonged drought-like situation at an earlier stage of boro ripening season and

power crisis-induced irrigation problems, officials expected 1.30 crore tonnes of yield this

year, up from 1.22 crore tonnes last year.
Officials said the boro output would largely depend on the frequency and ferocity of

tornadoes and nor'westers in the next two weeks.   FPRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=Picture"
People retrieve a piece of furniture from the rubble left by a tornado that tore through

Haluaghat in Mymensingh on Wednesday. PHOTO: Reuters
 
 
 
 
 

News Today

Twister victims live under open sky
 

Harrowing tales of Kanchanpur: Succour, dole too meagre: Death toll rises to 74: Storm

lashes Sunamganj

MYMENSINGH, Apr 16: The air over the tornado-hit villages in Netrakona and Haluaghat became

heavy with the smell of decomposing corpses and carcasses of cattle as the death toll from

Wednesday’s severe tornado rose to 74 today with new death and the bodies recovered, reports

UNB.
The relief work has begun, but it is too meagre to meet the demand. Hapless villagers, who

lost everything, are living under open sky without adequate food and water.
Those who luckily survived the fury of nature were busy arranging burial of their

unfortunate near and dear ones. Some were digging grave for their lost relatives, some for

head of cattle killed by the tornado. Local rescuers found a beheaded body of a woman, Sapia

(25), and of a little boy, Matin, in Kanchanpur village of Netrakona Sadar upazila today.

Two tornado-injured people died at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital Thursday night

raising the unofficial death toll to 74.
However, the official death figure from the tornado was put at 62 with the new deaths. Those

who died Thursday night were identified as Sultana, 40, and Abdul Latif, aged about 30.
Some army medical teams along with local medical teams are providing treatment to the

injured people in 13 villages of the tornado-hit three upazilas. Police, BDR and volunteers

are also working for the rehabilitation of the tornado victims.
The administration distributed 100 metric tons of rice, 250 bundles of CI
sheet, 300 pieces of saree, 200 pieces of lungi and Tk 250,000 among the victims of six

villages in Haluaghat upazila of Mymensingh.
Besides, some 30 tons of rice and some quantity of flattened rice and molasses were

distributed among the affected people of Sadar and Purbadhala upazilas in Netrakona,

according to relief and rehabilitation offices in Mymensingh and Netrakona districts.
Another report from Sunamganj adds: A tropical storm swept the district town and its

adjacent areas on Thursday night, injuring more than 50 people.
Hospital sources said 47 of the injured were treated at the Sadar Hospital.
The storm hit the areas at about 7:45pm and lasted for a few minutes, flattening some 300

houses, uprooting huge trees and toppling a few electric poles.
Whip Fazlul Haq Asfia and high officials of local administration visited the storm-ravaged

areas.
 

Relief, rehab yet to gather pace
Tornado death toll tops 72
STAFF CORRESPONDENT
 
Death toll from Wednesday’s tornado rose to 72 Friday as rescuers recovered more bodies,

buried under razed huts, and two critically-injured victims died at Mymensingh Medical

College Hospital.
   Meanwhile, thousands of people in at least 29 villages of Mymensingh and Netrakona,

ravaged by the tornado, spent another night under open sky virtually without food and

drinking water.
   Relief and rehabilitation work was yet to gather desired momentum, local people said.
   Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Sheikh Hasina, who visited some tornado-torn

villages in Mymensingh and Netrakona Friday, expressed ‘dissatisfaction’ over relief and

rehabilitation initiatives of the government.
   Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who flew on a helicopter to the scene of destruction less

than a couple of hours after Hasina had left Netrakona for Dhaka, ordered the Mymensingh and

Netrakona district administrations to ensure immediate supply of relief materials and start

rehabilitation of the homeless people.
   “We will provide all-out support to the affected people recover the loss,” she told

villagers during a visit to an affected village. “Do not feel lonely at this hour of

distress. The government is very much with you.”
   She distributed relief material among the victims.
   Hasina, who drove from Dhaka to Netrakona and then to Mymensingh, also distributed relief

materials.
   The Awami League president asked her party members to join hands with the administration

to rehabilitate the tornado victims.
   “We are always with you… and the Awami League workers will help you build your homes,”

the former prime minister told villagers after distributing some dry food, sari, lungi and

cash to some tornado victims in Purbadhala.
   Some government and non-government aid-workers had, meanwhile, started distribution of

relief materials in the tornado-hit areas. Their initiatives proved inadequate, given the

sheer number of affected people and the extent of damage.
   According to the UNB, local rescuers found the beheaded body of a woman, Sapia, 25, and

of a minor boy, Matin, in Kanchanpur village of Netrakona Sadar upazila on Friday.
   Our Netrakona correspondent reports that rescuers recovered six decomposed bodies from

different places in Kanchanpur village.
   Official sources confirmed 41 deaths in the district. They fear the death figure may go

up.
   Earlier on Thursday night, two tornado victims died at Mymensingh Medical College

Hospital.
   Some 280 people are undergoing treatment at the medical college hospital while 460 at the

Netrakona Sadar Hospital.
   Members of the army medical corps have been called in to aid civilian doctors.
   In Mymensingh, the administration distributed 100 tonnes of rice, 250 bundles of CI

sheet, 300 pieces of sari, 200 pieces of lungi and Tk 250,000 among victims of six villages

in Haluaghat upazila.
   In Netrakona, the government has allocated Tk 500,000 in cash and two tonnes of rice, a

bundle of CI sheet and 500 sari and lungi for the victims.
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

New Age

How many really missing?
Hospitals advising hapless people to buy medicine
KHADIMUL ISLAM, back from Netrakona
Hurida, a hapless tiny girl injured and hospitalised following the powerful tornado that

tore through 29 villages in Mymensingh and Netrakona districts, does not know three days

after the April 14 twister whether her parents are alive or if she, like many tornado

victims, will be an orphan.
   She was among the hundreds of the injured when tornado hit Battipara village of Sripur in

Netrakona district. She was brought to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital where she lay in

utter dismay without any companion or proper treatment of her injuries.
   A weeping Hurida, aged about six, told New Age that she did not know anything about her

family members. But a neighbour of Hurida, who was also lying in a bed of Ward no-10, told

this correspondent that other four family members of Hurida were admitted to Netrokona

Hospital with serious injuries.
   Hurida is not the lone instance, a good number of injured persons, particularly children

and women are still unaware of the whereabouts of their dear ones.
   As of Friday evening, a total of 280 people were undergoing treatment in Mymensingh

Medical College Hospital and 460 more in the Netrakona Hospital, according to sources.
   In addition, rumours that many people were missing, had put wounded survivors like Hurida

into utter despair about fate of their family members.
   Rescuers Friday recovered six decomposed bodies from the debries in Knachanpur village of

Netrakona.
   Akkas, an elderly villager who was away from his home when the tornado struck his

village, said on return after the devastation, he could not locate his home as it was not

there.
   “I rushed to the village, at first sight I did not find my own house as there was no

house standing, later I got some of my homestead under uprooted trees,” Akkas recalled while

looking for his family at a Mymensingh hospital.
   Talking to New Age at the hospital, Akkas, who hailed from tornado-ravaged Shaldia

village of Purbadhala in Netrakona, said he managed to rescue three of his five children

from under the uprooted trees.
    “Without waiting for the missing two children I took the three injured ones to the

Netrakona Hospital,” Akkas said, adding he did not yet know whether his two children were

dead or alive.
   Quddus, a peasant of Hasimpur village under Rowha Union of Netrakona now bed-ridden in

the Mymensingh Hospital with leg injuries, complained that he was not being provided with

medicine prescribed by physician.
   “A physician advised me to buy medicine from market, though he (physician) knew that

everything of my life had been snatched by the tornado” Quddus told New Age on Friday. An

on-duty physician of the hospital, however, denied the allegation.
   Quddus, however, was optimistic that his condition would improve if he got money to buy

the needed medicine.
   Visiting hospitals in Mymensingh and Netrakona, this correspondent saw scores of injured

victims crowding hospital wards with fractured and bruised legs and hands and other wounds

inflicted by flying objects or falling trees during the brief tornado.
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Protocol, indeed
MIR ASHFAQUZZAMAN, back from Netrakona, Mymensingh
Some lawmakers of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party had stayed overnight. Prime

Minister Khaleda Zia had an aerial view of the extent of damage in Wednesday’s tornado from

a helicopter before descending among the victims with sympathetic words and relief materials

on Friday. Less than a couple of hours back, Awami League president Sheikh Hasina had led an

elaborate entourage of party leaders and activists, and pressmen to the scene of

destruction. It was indeed a stars parade in Netrakona, a small district town some 160

kilometres northeast of Dhaka. So was it an elaborate — one might be tempted to say

exaggerated — security.
   The trip to the twister-ravaged villages in Netrakona Sadar took one meandering through

the narrow, winding roads of Netrakona, for no less than five kilometres. The journey was

all the more difficult as one had to negotiate streams of men, women and children, either

heading to or coming back from the ill-fated villages. As if it were not troublesome and

tiresome enough, there had to be policemen, deployed at the point of entry to Netrakona up

to the tornado-torn villages at arms distance, goading people onto the roadside and even off

the road into roadside paddy fields whenever a VIP and his or her entourage passed through.
   Yet, people went in their thousands — some to find out whether the victims included

anyone they had known or been related to and others only to be there, offering kind words to

those exposed to the cruel whim of nature. They braved the scorching sun and sultry weather

to walk the long miles, bothered but not overwhelmed by overenthusiastic goading of security

people. Some even took jibes at the statuesque, armed policemen. The returns were in most

cases scornful. After all, the men in uniforms had protocol to maintain and jobs to protect.
   And protocol was the order of the day at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital where 260

men, women and children, who had been injured in Wednesday’s tornado, were undergoing

treatment. The director and senior administrative staff of the hospital were more concerned

about how to handle the VIPs and the concomitant media attention rather than the patients.
   “We have taken elaborate measures so that they [ministers, lawmakers and opposition

leaders] face no problem while visiting the patients,” the hospital director told New Age

Friday morning when asked what steps the hospital had taken to…
   He went on elaborating how the elevators had been kept on standby for the VIPs, why he

had ordered not to allow more than six people in an elevator, so on and so forth. He had

forgotten that he had been asked what steps the hospital had taken to ensure maximum care

for the tornado victims.
   Before he could finish, in came a sports utility van carrying a state minister. The

director combed his hair and rushed to receive the guest. The state minister steps out of

the van and the first question he asked was whether any media person was there, sending the

hospital director on a run to find one. Protocol, indeed.
   Meanwhile, the New Age query about treatment and other facilities provided to the tornado

victims remained unanswered.
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Financial Express

PM assures all-out assistance
UNB, NETRAKONA, April 16
Making a whirlwind visit to Wednesday’s tornado-ravaged villages of Mymensingh and

Netrakona, Prime Minister Khaleda Zia Friday a assured the affected people of her

government’s all-out assistance.
   “We’re all shocked and touched at the loss of lives and property. We have to transform

the grief into strength and start life anew,” she told the tornado-hit people gathered at

the villages she visited in the afternoon.
   Khaleda Zia reminded that the government had immediately sent dry foods, medicines and

emergency relief materials for the affected people. “Don’t think you are alone in this

crisis. The government and my party are always beside you,” she assured the people asking

them to face the calamity with courage and patience.
   Distributing dry foods and clothes among the people left homeless by the tornado, she

said tube-wells would be sunk and tents be set up so that they could live there until their

homes were built.
   Nearly 41 people were killed in Netrakona and 19 in Mymensingh when tornado lashed five

villages of Mymensingh and 30 villages of Netrakona on Wednesday.
   Apart from the steps taken by the district administration, Army, BDR and other voluntary

organisations have been deployed for the treatment and rehabilitation of the survivors.
   The prime minister first flew to Netrakona in a helicopter and drove to Kanchanpur of

Moagati union and pledged to provide whatever necessary, including tins for houses, cash for

rehabilitation and medicines for the treatment of the tornado victims.
   She told the waiting people that she had been there to express her solidarity with the

grief-stricken people and also assured that the government was beside them. “There will be

no mistake in the rehabilitation work,” she asserted.
   Khaleda Zia then visited Netrakona Sadar Hospital to see for herself the injured people.
   From Netrakona, the prime minister flew to Mymensingh and visited Boalmaria and

Gazirbhita, two of the four villages, in Haluaghat where 19 people were killed in the

tornado.
   She also visited Haluaghat Upazila Health Complex where the injured were being treated.

She talked to some of the injured and inquired the doctors about the conditions of the

injured.
   Relief Minister Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yousuf, State Minister for Mineral Resources AKM

Mosharraf Hossain, State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar, Dr Mohammad Ali MP,

Abdul Karim Abbasi MP, PM’s political secretary Mosaddek Ali and local leaders, including

BNP’s office secretary Imran Saleh Prince and Afzal H Khan, accompanied the prime minister.
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hasina demands quick rehab
UNB, MYMENSINGH, April 16
Opposition leader Sheikh Hasina Friday demanded quick rehabilitation of the tornado affected

people of Netrakona and Mymensingh and distribution of relief materials immediately by

deploying army and BDR personnel.
   After visiting tornado-hit Kanchanpur village in Netrakona and Gazirbhita of Haluaghat in

Mymensingh, she said the government must waive agriculture loans of the farmers, provide CI

sheet, other house-building materials, free medical treatment for the victims and restore

electric supply.
   Addressing two spontaneous gatherings in the affected areas, Hasina said the localities

just disappeared overnight by the deadly tornado that also took away fishes from the ponds,

food grain, houses, cattle and other essentials leaving only injured people with empty hand.
   She castigated the government for its “attitude of apathy” after the tornado.
   “It’s a matter of great regret that the government was sleeping on Wednesday night when

the tornado hit the localities here. Many people died and loss of life and property rendered

thousands of people helpless,” she said conveying her deep sympathy for the members of the

bereaved families.
   The Awami League President asked her arch political rival Prime Minister Khaleda Zia as

to why adequate relief materials, medical teams and other necessities did not reach the

people in due time.
   “People pay tax to the government. It is the duty of the government to quickly respond to

people’s urgent needs. But the government made delay… What’s wrong if the government

provides Tk 5-7 crore for the victims here?” she said urging the government to provide

relief materials from government coffers, including the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
   Hasina said people were “bearing torture and repression of the government” on one hand

and facing disaster one after another on the other.
   “The prime minister announced to visit the area after five hours of our announcement.

When I fixed my programme to visit here, they came to senses,” the Awami League chief said

adding that she had to reschedule her day’s programme following the announcement of the PM’s

visit.
   She alleged that she was obstructed while visiting Netrakona Sadar Hospital where many

injured people were admitted for treatment. She asked the leaders and workers of Awami

League and other front organisations to form volunteer groups and stand beside the people

with helping hand and arrange drinking water and food immediately.
   Hasina urged the tornado-hit people to be patient and pray to almighty Allah for early

recovery of the injured people.
   “Whenever BNP comes to power, disaster comes one after another causing huge loss of life

and property,” she said. “We must free the people from the misrule of the alliance

government and restore peace and security to public life,” she added.
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Relief work inadequate while tornado toll hits 74
 
4/17/2004
 
          The death toll from Wednesday's severe tornado that hit Netrakona and Haluaghat

rose Friday to 74. However, relief work has begun, but it is too meagre to meet the demand,

sources said. Hapless villagers, who have lost everything, are living under the open sky

without adequate food and water. Those, who luckily survived the fury of the Mother Nature,

were busy arranging burial of their near and dear ones. Some were digging graves for their

lost relatives and some for cattleheads killed by the tornado. Local rescuers found a

beheaded body of a woman, Safia (25), and that of a minor boy, Matin, at Kanchanpur village

of Netrakona Sadar Upazila. On the other hand, two injured people died at Mymensingh Medical

College Hospital Thursday night raising the unofficial death toll to 74. However, the

official death figure from the tornado was put at 62 with the new deaths. Those who died

Thursday night were identified as Sultana (40) and Abdul Latif, aged about 30. Some army

medical teams along with local ones were providing treatment to the injured people in 13

villages of the tornado-hit three upazilas. Police, BDR and volunteers were also working for

the rehabilitation of the tornado victims. See also Back Page — UNB