Tag Archives: Ayeyarwaddy

Eyewitness account of cyclone and after

There are many news reports on the scale of damage and deaths left in Cyclone Nargis’ wake now available in English, and persons interested to get detailed information on the response should especially follow the updates on Relief Web.

According to a government broadcast that Reuters monitored from Bangkok, the official figures as of Tuesday, May 6, stand at:

Irrawaddy Division: Nearly 15,000 dead, 3,000 missing; comprising 1,835 dead, 2,187 missing on Mawlamyaing Island; 975 dead on Heingyi Island; 253 dead, 10 missing on Khetta Island; 789 dead, 172 missing in Dedaye Township; over 1000 dead in Laputta Township; and about 10,000 dead in Bogalay Township. The damage in the delta seems to have been especially severe due to a surge in the sea level at the time of the storm.

Yangon Division: 59 dead, over 500 missing; comprising of 19 dead, 4 missing in Yangon and 40 dead, about 500 missing in Kunchankone. Presumably these figures do not include the prisoners allegedly shot dead at Insein Prison.

At time of writing the government website news had not been updated since May 2.

In the next few days, Rule of Lords will post news from Burmese sources that may be getting partly covered or not covered in the mainstream English media.

Eyewitness account from Laputta

Nearly the entire town of Laputta, which has about 50,000 people living in it, was flattened in the storm, according to one eyewitness. Still, because surrounding villages have been completely obliterated, the villagers have also been pouring into the wrecked town and tens of thousands are estimated to be affected.

“Some were killed by flying trees, some from exposure to the cold, some died when they had gathered to shelter from the storms in monasteries and they collapsed,” the eyewitness said. Continue reading

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Cyclone Nargis

Latest video of damage in Rangoon after Cyclone Nargis passed through lower Burma on May 2 and 3, at DVB, and photo gallery.

Slide show of damage at VOA.

According to DVB, entire new townships, which for the most part consist of flimsy wooden and galvanised iron houses, have been seriously damaged and there are no authorities or emergency crews to be seen.

Coming on the back of last year’s price increases, there are reports of rapid further rises in costs (and here) and residents fear imminent widespread hunger and water problems unless there is international assistance.

The UN says that “flooding, blocked roads and disrupted communications are hampering efforts to assess the full extent of damage” but that “the water supply is unfit to drink”. There is no electricity, the supply of which is unreliable at the best of times.

There are as yet no detailed reports of the delta region, which has been put under a state of emergency, as well as states to the east of Rangoon.

The government has not yet formally requested international assistance.