Burmese Cyclone Claims at least 43,000

That may be the death toll from the natural disaster but no one knows what the toll will be as a result of the Myanmar Junta not allowing foreign aid workers to help them assess damage and figure out how to feed, bring water, and give shelter to around 1.5 million people:

The government said Thursday that the official death toll from the May 2-3 cyclone had climbed by almost 5,000 to 43,318. The number of missing has remained at 27,838 for at least two days.

But the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies estimated the death toll was between 68,833 and 127,990. The U.N. says more than 100,000 may have died.

The U.N. and the Red Cross say between 1.6 and 2.5 million people are in urgent need of food, water and shelter. Only 270,000 have been reached so far by the aid groups.

Tons of foreign aid including water, blankets, mosquito nets, tarpaulins, medicines and tents have been sent to Myanmar, but its delivery has been slowed down because of bottlenecks, poor infrastructure and bureaucratic tangles.

The junta insists on taking control of the distribution. It has allowed the U.N. and some other agencies to hand out the aid directly but prohibited their few foreign staff allowed into Myanmar from leaving Yangon, the country's main city.

Police have turned back foreigners from checkpoints at the city's exits.

The government said Thursday that the official death toll from the May 2-3 cyclone had climbed by almost 5,000 to 43,318. The number of missing has remained at 27,838 for at least two days.

But the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies estimated the death toll was between 68,833 and 127,990. The U.N. says more than 100,000 may have died.

The U.N. and the Red Cross say between 1.6 and 2.5 million people are in urgent need of food, water and shelter. Only 270,000 have been reached so far by the aid groups.

Tons of foreign aid including water, blankets, mosquito nets, tarpaulins, medicines and tents have been sent to Myanmar, but its delivery has been slowed down because of bottlenecks, poor infrastructure and bureaucratic tangles.

The junta insists on taking control of the distribution. It has allowed the U.N. and some other agencies to hand out the aid directly but prohibited their few foreign staff allowed into Myanmar from leaving Yangon, the country's main city.

Police have turned back foreigners from checkpoints at the city's exits.

Very soon now, disease will begin to ravage the suriviors as the tens of thousands of dead bodies become a breeding ground for all kinds of ailments. And with no food distribution to flooded towns and hamlets, those people are going to begin to starve to death with the weakest among them - the very young and very old - unable to survive.

Apparently, some in the government may be cashing in on the relief bonanza:



 Myanmar's junta warned Thursday that legal action would be taken against people who trade or hoard international aid as the cyclone's death toll soared above 43,000.

It was the first acknowledgment by the military government, albeit indirectly, of problems with relief operations in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.

The warning came amid reports that foreign aid was being sold openly in markets, and that the military was pilfering and diverting aid for its own use

The ruling junta has been blasted by aid agencies for refusing to allow most foreign experts into the hard-hit Irrawaddy delta and not responding adequately to what they say is a spiraling crisis.

Relief workers reported that some storm survivors were being given spoiled or poor-quality food rather than nutrition-rich biscuits sent by international donors, adding to fears that the ruling military junta in the Southeast Asian country could be misappropriating assistance.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement Wednesday that it had confirmed an Associated Press report that the military had seized high-energy biscuits that came from abroad, and distributed low-quality, locally produced biscuits to survivors.


The situation is only going to get worse.
That may be the death toll from the natural disaster but no one knows what the toll will be as a result of the Myanmar Junta not allowing foreign aid workers to help them assess damage and figure out how to feed, bring water, and give shelter to around 1.5 million people:

The government said Thursday that the official death toll from the May 2-3 cyclone had climbed by almost 5,000 to 43,318. The number of missing has remained at 27,838 for at least two days.

But the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies estimated the death toll was between 68,833 and 127,990. The U.N. says more than 100,000 may have died.

The U.N. and the Red Cross say between 1.6 and 2.5 million people are in urgent need of food, water and shelter. Only 270,000 have been reached so far by the aid groups.

Tons of foreign aid including water, blankets, mosquito nets, tarpaulins, medicines and tents have been sent to Myanmar, but its delivery has been slowed down because of bottlenecks, poor infrastructure and bureaucratic tangles.

The junta insists on taking control of the distribution. It has allowed the U.N. and some other agencies to hand out the aid directly but prohibited their few foreign staff allowed into Myanmar from leaving Yangon, the country's main city.

Police have turned back foreigners from checkpoints at the city's exits.

The government said Thursday that the official death toll from the May 2-3 cyclone had climbed by almost 5,000 to 43,318. The number of missing has remained at 27,838 for at least two days.

But the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies estimated the death toll was between 68,833 and 127,990. The U.N. says more than 100,000 may have died.

The U.N. and the Red Cross say between 1.6 and 2.5 million people are in urgent need of food, water and shelter. Only 270,000 have been reached so far by the aid groups.

Tons of foreign aid including water, blankets, mosquito nets, tarpaulins, medicines and tents have been sent to Myanmar, but its delivery has been slowed down because of bottlenecks, poor infrastructure and bureaucratic tangles.

The junta insists on taking control of the distribution. It has allowed the U.N. and some other agencies to hand out the aid directly but prohibited their few foreign staff allowed into Myanmar from leaving Yangon, the country's main city.

Police have turned back foreigners from checkpoints at the city's exits.

Very soon now, disease will begin to ravage the suriviors as the tens of thousands of dead bodies become a breeding ground for all kinds of ailments. And with no food distribution to flooded towns and hamlets, those people are going to begin to starve to death with the weakest among them - the very young and very old - unable to survive.

Apparently, some in the government may be cashing in on the relief bonanza:



 Myanmar's junta warned Thursday that legal action would be taken against people who trade or hoard international aid as the cyclone's death toll soared above 43,000.

It was the first acknowledgment by the military government, albeit indirectly, of problems with relief operations in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.

The warning came amid reports that foreign aid was being sold openly in markets, and that the military was pilfering and diverting aid for its own use

The ruling junta has been blasted by aid agencies for refusing to allow most foreign experts into the hard-hit Irrawaddy delta and not responding adequately to what they say is a spiraling crisis.

Relief workers reported that some storm survivors were being given spoiled or poor-quality food rather than nutrition-rich biscuits sent by international donors, adding to fears that the ruling military junta in the Southeast Asian country could be misappropriating assistance.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement Wednesday that it had confirmed an Associated Press report that the military had seized high-energy biscuits that came from abroad, and distributed low-quality, locally produced biscuits to survivors.


The situation is only going to get worse.