DACCA: Relief Commissioner Anisuzzaman announced tonight [Nov 16] that President Yahya Khan said that Friday morning’s disaster along East Pakistan’s coastal belt is a national calamity and ordered mobilisation of all resources to provide relief to the survivors.

He also announced that the East Pakistan Governor, Vice-Admiral S.M. Ahsan, would be leaving for the offshore areas tomorrow where he will camp for controlling and supervising relief operations. The Relief Commissioner said the Army is coming in a big way to assist the civil administration in relief work and Naval and Air Force resources were also ready for use. He said the civil and military authorities were working in close cooperation.

— People killed: 2.5 to 3 lakhs (unofficial estimates), 32,771 (official preliminary estimate)
— People affected: 22,33,000
— Area affected: 2,338 sq. miles
— Houses damaged: 23,52,000
— Rice crop damaged: 58,000 tons

The death and destruction caused by the storm and the surging waves defy all descriptions.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2020