Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Diplomat: Death toll may reach 100,000

YANGON, Myanmar -- Bodies floated in flood waters and survivors tried to reach dry ground on boats using blankets as sails, while the top U.S. diplomat in Myanmar said Wednesday that the toll from the cyclone and its aftermath may reach 100,000.

YANGON, Myanmar -- Bodies floated in flood waters and survivors tried to reach dry ground on boats using blankets as sails, while the top U.S. diplomat in Myanmar said Wednesday that the toll from the cyclone and its aftermath may reach 100,000.

Hungry crowds stormed the few shops that opened in the country's stricken Irrawaddy delta, sparking fist fights, according to Paul Risley, a spokesman for the U.N. World Food Program in neighboring Thailand.

Shari Villarosa, who heads the U.S. Embassy in Myanmar, said food and water are running short in the delta area and called the situation there "increasingly horrendous."

"There is a very real risk of disease outbreaks as long as this continues," Villarosa told reporters. The death toll could hit or exceed 100,000 as humanitarian conditions worsen, she said.

State media in Myanmar, also known as Burma, reported that nearly 23,000 people died when Cyclone Nargis blasted the country's western coast Saturday and more than 42,000 others were missing.

ADVERTISEMENT

The military junta normally restricts the access of foreign officials and organizations to the country, and aid groups were struggling to deliver relief goods.

Internal U.N. documents obtained by The Associated Press showed growing frustrations at foot-dragging by the junta, which has kept the impoverished nation isolated for five decades to maintain its iron-fisted control.

"Visas are still a problem. It is not clear when it will be sorted out," according to the minutes of a meeting of the U.N. task force coordinating relief for Myanmar in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Myanmar's government to speed up the arrival of aid workers and relief supplies "in every way possible."

­­

What To Read Next
Josh Sipes was watching an in-flight movie when he became aware the flight crew were asking for help assisting a woman who was experiencing a medical problem.
Nonprofit hospitals are required to provide free or discounted care, also known as charity care; yet eligibility and application requirements vary across hospitals. Could you qualify? We found out.
Crisis pregnancy centers received almost $3 million in taxpayer funds in 2022. Soon, sharing only medically accurate information could be a prerequisite for funding.
The Grand Forks Blue Zones Project, which hopes to make Grand Forks not just a healthier city but a closer community, is hosting an event on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Empire Arts Center from 3-5 p.m.