Only ABC put a reporter on the scene in Bangladesh to show us the impact of the 150 mph winds and the 15-foot storm surge that flattened coastal villages and forced the evacuation of homes for 600,000 people. NBC had Ian Williams warn about the Bay of Bengal cyclone yesterday; now ABC's Nick Schifrin (subscription required) showed us elephants "put to work to clear the roads." As many as 1,100 Bengalis may be dead "but in a country that is one of the most crowded in the world, it will take weeks, maybe even months, to know the full extent of the damage." ABC also had Bill Blakemore file an update on the floods following Hurricane Katrina. A combination of the storm's high winds and the subsequent weeks of standing water created the "largest forestry disaster in US history." Some 5m acres of forest have been wiped out in Mississippi and Alabama. Rotting vegetation releases as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as "all the rest of the US forests, all of them, absorb in an entire year."
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