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June 3, 2009

Cyclone Aila

Cyclone Aila began as a disturbance on May 21 in the Bay of Bengal, strengthening quickly to a Tropical Cyclone with windspeeds gusting up to 120 km/h (75 mph). Aila made landfall soon after, bringing heavy rains, wind, and an enormous storm surge of seawater that pushed inland, damaging or destroying hundreds of thousands of homes in Bangladesh, India and Myanmar. Over 300 people are confirmed to have died, with more than 8,000 still missing. Surviving residents are now receiving aid, mourning the lost, beginning to rebuild - and some are leveling criticism at their own governments, asking why stronger storm defenses were not in place. According to the Associated Press, some 2.3 million people were affected by Aila. (29 photos total)

A woman, displaced from her home by a huge storm surge caused by cyclone Aila, carries food distributed by an NGO in Satkhira in southwestern Bangladesh June 2, 2009. (REUTERS/Andrew Biraj)

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this true-color image of Aila on May 25, 2009, the same day that the storm temporarily strengthened to a Category 1 cyclone. Aila almost completely fills this scene, stretching from the Bay of Bengal deep into India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. (NASA/Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team) #

A flooded village is seen in this aerial view taken from an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter in the Cyclone-hit area of Patharpatima Island in the Sundarbans delta, about 100 km (62 miles) south of Kolkata, India on May 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw) #

Bangladeshi villagers wade through floodwater as they go to collect drinking water on the outskirts of Khulna on June 1, 2009. (MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Indian army helicopter drops food packets to marooned villagers at Patharprotima block near Sundarbans, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) south of Calcutta, India on Wednesday, May 27, 2009. (AP Photo) #

Indian villagers wave to an Indian Air Force helicopter delivering food packets in the mangrove-covered delta region the Sunderbans, south of Kolkata, India on on May 27, 2009. (DESHAKALYAN CHOWDHURY/AFP/Getty Images) #

Flood-affected villagers collect food packets dropped from an IAF helicopter in the Cyclone-hit area of Patharpatima Island, south of Kolkata, India on May 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw) #

A woman tries to retrieve her belongings from her house, wrecked by cyclone Aila in Satkhira in southwestern Bangladesh on June 3, 2009. (REUTERS/Andrew Biraj) #

A girl, displaced from her home by a storm surge caused by Cyclone Aila, stands in front of her temporary shelter on a river dam in Satkhira in southwestern Bangladesh June 2, 2009. (REUTERS/Andrew Biraj) #

Villagers look over an eroded river embankment after heavy rainfall from Cyclone Aila in Namkhana village, India, Tuesday, May 26, 2009. (AP Photo) #

Villagers offer prayers near the body of a victim, unseen, of Cyclone Aila during a funeral service in Nil Dumoor village in Shatkhira, southwest of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, May 28, 2009. (AP Photo/ Pavel Rahman) #

Two Bangladeshi women whose relatives fell victim to Cyclone Aila mourn in Nil Dumoor village in Shatkhira, Bangladesh, Thursday, May 28, 2009. (AP Photo/ Pavel Rahman) #

A girl looks on as Bangladeshis crowd to receive relief material at the cyclone affected village of Nowabanki in Shatkhira, Bangladesh, Friday, May 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman) #

Bangladeshi women stand in a queue to receive relief material at the cyclone affected village of Nowabanki, Bangladesh, Friday, May 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman) #

Flood water flows back to the sea as villagers rebuild an embankment at Protap Nagar in Shatkhira, Bangladesh on Sunday, May 31, 2009. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman) #

Bangladeshi villagers work to rebuild an embankment at Protap Nagar in Shatkhira, Bangladesh on Sunday, May 31, 2009. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman) #

A villager sells ducks at Khulna, about 163 kilometers (101 miles) southwest of Dhaka, Bangladesh on Monday, June 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman) #

Villagers stand in a queue as volunteers distribute relief material from a boat in Shatkhira, Bangladesh, Saturday, May 30, 2009. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman) #

Villagers rebuild houses at a cyclone affected village in Shatkhira, Bangladesh, Friday, May 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman) #

A woman cooks at a makeshift shelter at the cyclone affected village of Nil Dumoor village, Bangladesh on Thursday, May 28, 2009. (AP Photo/ Pavel Rahman) #

People displaced from their homes by a huge storm surge caused by Cyclone Aila wait for relief food in Shatkhira, Bangladesh on June 2, 2009. (REUTERS/Andrew Biraj) #

A woman holds her hungry baby at Protap Nagar, southwest of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, May 31, 2009. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman) #

A boy runs through stagnant water to collect relief material at Laxmikhali village in Shatkhira, Bangladesh on Saturday, May 30, 2009. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman) #

Villagers return home after collecting relief aid at Khulna, Bangladesh, Monday, June 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman) #

Displaced villagers receive food aid packets in the Koyra area on the outskirts of Khulna, Bangladesh on June 1, 2009. (MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images) #

A woman, displaced from her home by flooding due to cyclone Aila, waits to receive food in Satkhira in southwestern Bangladesh on June 2, 2009. (REUTERS/Andrew Biraj) #

Homes damaged by cyclone Aila are seen on the outskirts of Khulna on June 1, 2009. (MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man waits for relief supplies at Patharpatima in the Sundarbans delta, south of Kolkata, India on May 26, 2009. (REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw) #

A displaced Bangladeshi villager takes shelter in a makeshift dwelling on the outskirts of Khulna on the evening of June 1, 2009. (MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images) #

 
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