Myanmar cyclone toll rises to 22,000 dead
Foreign Minister Nyan Win of Mynamar said that the death toll from the powerful weekend cyclone that battered Myanmar rose above 22,000 with 41,000 still missing on Tuesday.
Government-run radio said 22,464 people have been confirmed dead from Cyclone Nargis, which tore through the country’s rice bowl and biggest city of Yangon early Saturday. It said more than 41,000 were still missing, raising fears the death toll would soar. Relief efforts for the stricken area, mostly in the low-lying Irrawaddy River delta, have been hampered by the destruction of roads and communications.
The United Nations and the former Burma’s neighbours are scrambling to deliver food, clean water and shelter to survivors. Devastated by the 190 km per hour winds and 12 foot storm surge, several hundred thousands of people are left homeless. The US Embassy in Myanmar authorised the release of $250,000 in immediate emergency aid, and US first lady Laura Bush, a critic of the junta, promised more would be forthcoming.