Bangladeshi Native Speaks About Tragedy
By: CJ Cassidy
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - The death toll continues to climb in Bangladesh.
Latest figures estimate more than 2,300 people died in the storm that pounded the Asian country on Thursday.
Teams from international aid organizations have been trying to help rescue workers get aid to thousands of survivors. The storm has also left thousands without shelter.
One Bangladeshi native, who's made his home in southeast Missouri says he's been in touch with family and friends back home, and so far they seem to be doing alright.
So for now, all he can do is sit and wait for information to trickle through.
Chemistry Professor Mohammed Ali caught up on work in his office at Southeast Missouri State University Sunday, but his thoughts strayed thousands of miles away to the devastation in his native Bangladesh.
Ali grew up in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka; about a couple of hours away from the coastal areas battered by Cyclone Sidr.
"The whole country is about the size of Wisconsin, maybe a little bigger, and the population is 150,000,000," he said.
Given the overcrowding in his homeland, and the poverty in areas hard hit by the storm, Ali's thankful more people didn't die from the invading floods and strong winds that knocked down homes.
"The early warnings saved a lot of lives this time. But a lot of people in the area are fishermen, dependent on catching fish to feed their family. So sometimes, they ignore warnings and take risks," he said.
For now, Ali stays glued to the Internet to get the latest on what's happening in his country, but says he wishes it didn't take a catastrophe to peak people's interest in the world around them.
"Things are different outside the U.S. People keep track of what's happening outside their borders," he said.
Ali says he is grateful to his friends in southeast Missouri for their concern and support.