Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Myanmar Death Toll May Exceed 100,000

As we witnessed with the Indian Ocean tsunami, early estimates of casualties are notoriously unreliable, and a final toll from Cyclone Nargis on Myanmar may never be known. The top U.S. envoy in the country is now estimating that the death toll may exceed 100,000. From CNN:

"The information we are receiving indicates over 100,000 deaths," the U.S. Charge D'Affaires in Yangon, Shari Villarosa, said on a conference call.

The U.S. figure is almost five times more than the 22,000 the Myanmar government has estimated...

...95 percent of the buildings in the delta region were destroyed when Cyclone Nargis battered the area late Friday into Saturday.

Based on the same data, 70,000 people are missing in the Irrawaddy Delta, which has a population of nearly six million people, Villarosa said. The official Myanmar government figure for the missing is 41,000.

Little aid has reached the area since Nargis hit, and on Wednesday crowds of hungry survivors stormed reopened shops in the devastated Irrawaddy delta...

From Rule of Lords: "Only three in ten are alive." :

One of the areas worst affected by the cyclone was Laputta, in the Irrawaddy Delta. A resident of the township speaking to Yoma 3 News (Thailand) said that,

“The township has 16 village tracts. There are at least five villages per tract, and over 200 villages in total. People coming from the villages said that out of these villagers, for every ten, only around three are alive.”

According to Yoma 3 sources, although the government has put the official death toll in Laputta at over a thousand it is in fact much higher than that and to date no help has arrived...

More to come.


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