Monday, May 5, 2008

Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone Disaster

Almost 4,000 people have died (latest estimates are putting the toll at 10,000) and another 3,000 remain missing in Myanmar as a result of this weekend's devastating cyclone, state media reported Monday.The storm Nargis hit Myanmar on Saturday with wind speeds reaching 190km/h (120mph).

The soaring death toll was announced as the Mayanmar's ruling military junta issued a rare appeal for international assistance in the face of an escalating humanitarian crisis.

Burma (Myanmar) suffered all around destruction and flooding due to the cyclone. Scenes of the destruction showed extensive flooding, boats lilting on their sides in Yangon harbor, roofs ripped off buildings, uprooted trees and downed power lines after cyclone Nargis battered the Irrawaddy delta with 150 mile (241 km) an hour winds throughout Friday night and Saturday morning, dumping 20 inches of rain.

A spokesman for the Red Cross said the emergency aid group was working with its Myanmar agency to provide drinking water, temporary shelters and blankets and warned that urgent action was needed to limit outbreaks of disease.

"I think one of the biggest needs right now is to stave off disease," said spokesman Eric Porterfield. "We will be helping with the distribution of clean drinking water and setting up shelters."

A state of emergency was declared Sunday across five regions: the city of Yangon, Irrawaddy, Pegu and the states of Karen and Mon. All flights to Yangon, the former capital of Burma, were canceled.

Map of Myanmar

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