The New York Bangledeshi community and the American Red Cross are teaming up to help raise funds for victims of a powerful cyclone that hit Bangladesh last week.
Tropical Cyclone Sidr whipped up 150 mph winds on Thursday, killing about 3,100 people in mostly rural areas of Southwest Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, the Islamic equivalent of the Red Cross, has warned that the toll could hit 10,000 once rescuers reach outlying islands.
The Red Cross is asking New Yorkers to give money, rather than supplies. The international agency has provided an initial contribution of $100,000 to Red Crescent for emergency operations.
Immediate needs include food, emergency shelter and clean water. Long term needs include restoring clean water and sanitation facilities, reconstructing housing and infrastructure and restoring livelihood provisions like seeds and fishing nets.
Bangladesh Consul General Shamsul Haque said Monday that the local community will hold a fundraising dinner in Queens on Friday. The community is also working with Sen. John Sabini's office and the Red Cross to coordinate efforts.