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Aid & anger in bangladesh

By Ian Williams, NBC News correspondent

Editor's note: Ian filed this blog post from Kalika Bari, Bangladesh. His report airs tonight on the broadcast.

We could hear the angry crowd well before the yellow, squat government building came into view.

It was under siege from two to three hundred desperate cyclone survivors, jostling and shouting as they clambered for a share of the first aid to arrive in the village since the storm hit six days ago.

"We need more, we need more," said one man. "One hundred per cent of the people in this village were affected by cyclone Sidr. Everybody needs help. Everybody."

Inside the government building, a team of agitated aid workers was handing out high protein biscuits through a barred window – three boxes per family. Faces were pressed against the window; outstretched hands implored them for more.

Policemen were trying to keep the crowd at bay.

Within an hour all the biscuits had gone, but not the angry crowd, who remained demanding more help, and taunting a policemen who urged them to return to what remained of their homes. An aid worker promised that more aid would arrive tomorrow.

This was the scene we found in the village of Kalika Bari, where almost every house is damaged. Up to 20 people died here. Corrugated tin roofs and uprooted trees still litter the roads and fields. Most crops were destroyed; the shredded stumps of banana trees line a narrow river.

Villagers recalled harrowing stories of escape. One fisherman showed us the injuries to his chest, lacerated after twekve hours clinging to a tree.

We also heard complaints about government storm warnings. Though these warnings did get a million people out of harm's way, Jehangir, a local teacher told us many in this village didn't know about the approaching storm.

"The people here are illiterate, they don't have television or radio, they did not know the storm was coming," he said.

He also showed us the battered village school where he worked, its roof ripped off, walls and windows destroyed. Yet in what remained of one classroom a small group of children continued to study.

The main school building was sturdier. It had been deliberately built to serve as a storm shelter and eight hundred people did huddle in there on that terrifying night, as the one hundred and fifty mile per hour winds battered their homes.

Kalika Bari is in south-west Bangladesh, in the one of the worst hit areas. It took several days to clear the roads, but traffic is now moving, and a local ferry service should start tomorrow.

Relief workers insist that large amounts of aid are now flowing into Bangladesh, but from what we have seen on the ground here, it has yet to arrive in large quantities in shattered villages like Kalika Bari.