World: East Pakistan: The Politics of Catastrophe

THE face of the Pakistani official was ashen. Fresh from an inspection of the cyclone-ravaged coastline of the Bay of Bengal, he described the scene: "No vulture, no dog, and even no insects were to be found anywhere. Just heaps of human bodies and carcasses." More than two weeks after the storm had shrieked across the low-lying Ganges River Delta, the enormity of the havoc wrought by its 120-m.p.h. winds and 20-ft. waves could still only be sensed, not measured. Toward week's end, some 6,000 Ansar militiamen and volunteers trudged into the flatlands to begin burying, for $2 a corpse, the...

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