In Disaster's Wake It was as if our world collapsed under our feet and another world was swallowing us.

This is the tale of one town. When dawn breaks in Ujantia, it is not chirping birds or crowing cocks that herald the new day but the wailing of hungry babies. Rarely do desperate parents have anything to silence the cries. Says Sultana Razia, rocking her infant girl: "I have only water to feed my child." The howling dies down, more often than not, when the babies simply fall mute from exhaustion.

It has been two weeks since a cyclone smashed into Ujantia, situated on a small island five miles off the Bangladesh coast in the Bay of Bengal, but the...