Nov 27, 2007

Marine help in Bangladesh

From the USS Kearsarge:

U.S. Marine Corps helicopters began delivering emergency supplies Monday to survivors of a deadly cyclone along the southern coast of Bangladesh in a joint relief operation.

Helicopters from the USS Kearsarge, detached from the 22nd Marine Expediationary Unit (MEU) began delivering 5,000 water containers to remote areas of Dublar Char, Bagherat and Barguna, the most devastated districts in the Nov. 15 cyclone that killed some 3,200 people.

Marines will also deliver food and other supplies, help set up water purification plants, and provide medical care to victims in the coming days, Bangladeshi army officials said.

"Our first priority is get food, water and clothes to the survivors," said Gen. Moeen U. Ahmed, the chief of army staff, after meeting U.S. officials.

Marine Brig Gen Ronald Bailey is coordinating the relief operations, "We will fill the requirements as identified by the Bangladesh military," he said. Gen Bailey has been working closely with MajGen Richard Zilmer, CO of 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force (3MEF) based in Okinawa, in discussing further American support for the devastated region.

The official death toll rose to 3,243, the government said. Another 1,180 people were missing, and at least 34,500 were injured.


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