Friday, May 16, 2008

Latest Casualty Figures - 200,000??

As I've acknowledged previously, in any given disaster situation, early casualty figures are notoriously unreliable. So, take the following report from MS-NBC with a grain of salt:

YANGON - Torrential tropical downpours lashed Myanmar's cyclone-hit Irrawaddy delta on Friday as state television said cyclone death toll has reached almost 78,000, with another 56,000 people missing.

British officials have said the number of dead and missing may exceed 200,000. Given Myanmar's ban on foreign journalists and restrictions on movement for most international aid workers, independent assessments are difficult.

Thousands of destitute victims took to roadsides to beg for help to supplement the meager trickle of aid flowing in...

200,000 seems high - but given the almost total inaccessibility of the Irrawaddy delta area, maybe it's actually low. I've avoided posting gruesome videos that are available on YouTube which were apparently shot in the delta region - it's bad. Really bad.

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