MEMBERS of the Bangladeshi comm-unity in East Lancashire are appealing for help to aid devastating cyclone.

Five million people are in need of basic supplies and about one million homes have been damaged or destroyed after the disaster last week.

Now the Hyndburn Bangladesh Welfare Association is hoping to raise thousands of pounds for the stricken country.

Former Hyndburn mayor Dr Mohamed Rahman said conditions in the country were "desperate".

Dr Rahman, chairman of the association, said: "Help is needed immediately to provide food, clean water, medicines and shelter."

The association has already raised £2,500 in just two days and is hoping to collect as much money as possible to send to the Bangladesh High Commission as soon as possible.

Cyclone Sidr struck Bangladesh's southern coast last Thursday, bringing with it winds of up to 150mph and a tidal surge of several metres.

One million acres of farmland are thought to have been devastated.

Dr Rahman moved to England in 1966 as a 28-year-old to begin a career as a GP.

He still has family, including his brothers and sisters, in the country and regularly visits.

He said: "I have spoken to family over there every day since the cyclone and conditions are very bad. They have all survived but are desperate for aid.

"They are used to floods and cyclones but nothing on this scale. Homes have been destroyed as have crops.

"I will be going out to Bangladesh in the next few weeks and I want to take as many supplies and as much money with me as I can."

To donate to the Hyndburn Bangladesh Welfare Association contact their offices in Charter Street, Accrington, or call 01254 388886.

The Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) has also launched an appeal.

To donate to their Bangladesh Cyclone Appeal, go to or phone 0870 6060900.