Myanmar cyclone, estimated 10,000 have died (UPDATE: 22,000 dead)

UPDATE:
It has been reported that the death toll has now rose to above 22,000 people, with 41,000 still missing.

A government news broadcast reported that 22,464 people have been confirmed dead. It is believed that the numbers will continue to rise

Go here for more details.

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I previously wrote:
This may not be related to Malaysian politics in any way. In fact, it’s not quite related to Malaysia at all. But it is related to the world we are all living in. And in light of the food plight we’re all in now, this disaster in Myanmar couldn’t have come in a more untimely manner.

Cyclone kills 10,000 in one Myanmar town, aid promised

YANGON (Reuters) – Countries worldwide promised help to Myanmar after a cyclone killed 10,000 people in just one town, suggesting the overall death toll in the impoverished military-run Southeast Asian nation will be much higher.

“In Irrawaddy division the death toll amounts to more than 10,000,” said Tuesday morning’s Myanmar TV broadcast. “The missing is about 3,000. In Bogalay, the death toll is about 10,000.”

The U.S. Embassy in Myanmar authorised the release of $250,000 in immediate emergency aid, and U.S. first lady Laura Bush, a critic of the junta, promised more would be forthcoming.

However, she urged Myanmar’s military rulers to first accept a U.S. disaster response team that so far has been kept out, saying it would clear the way for broader aid.

After getting a “careful green light” from the government, the United Nations said it was pulling out all the stops to send in emergency aid such as food, clean water, blankets and plastic sheeting.

“The U.N. will begin preparing assistance now to be delivered and transported to Myanmar as quickly as possible,” World Food Programme (WFP) spokesman Paul Risley said.

Full article here.

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I’ve just heard over the news here in New Zealand that the World Food Programme has already started their aid in delivering food and other necessities to Myanmar. But because of the junta, overseas aid has never been easy.

But with a death toll that high, they cannot afford to keep overseas aid out of the country. And it is expected that the death toll will continue to rise should there be no immediate actions. It’s always the aftermath that kills even more than the disaster itself, as there would be a widepsread of a number of different diseases, some air-borne, some water-borne. And in a time when clean food, water and shelter is so scarce, they would eat anything, drink anything, and stay anywhere.

The World Food Programme is currently leading the aid groups in Myanmar.

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Just a note: World Food Programme hosts a website where people with Internet connection like us (we are the lucky ones) can help donate without needing to leave our computers. All we have to do is match the correct meaning to a word, and sponsors will donate 20 grains of rice to WFP. FreeRice is also linked on my sidebar.

Let’s all just do what little we can to help.



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