Bangladesh was struck by a major cyclone on 15 November. Cyclone Sidr was larger than the entire country.
United Nations assessments suggest 2.2 million people in need of immediate life-saving relief. Some 3,500 are known to have died, with 40,000 injured and around 1,000 missing. Some 8.5 million homes have been destroyed, and nearly three million livestock killed. And 6,000 square kilometres of coastal mangrove forest, which offered limited protection against such extreme weather conditions, have been lost - all this in a country ranked 139th out of 175 on the 2003 Human Development Index.