Victims Of Cyclone Nargis In Myanmar Need Food And Water
UN Says 1.5 Million People "Severely Effected" By Cyclone Nargis In Myanmar/Burma
May 9, 2008
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations estimated 1.5 million people have been "severely affected" by the cyclone that swept through Myanmar, with the United States expressing outrage on Thursday at delays in allowing in aid.
In Myanmar, desperate survivors cried out for food, water and other supplies nearly a week after 100,000 people were feared killed by Cyclone Nargis as it swept across the farms and villages of the low-lying Irrawaddy delta region.
"We're outraged by the slowness of the response of the government of Burma (Myanmar) to welcome and accept assistance," US Ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, told reporters. "It's clear that the government's ability to deal with the situation, which is catastrophic, is limited."
The UN food agency and Red Cross/Red Crescent said they had finally started flying in emergency relief supplies after foot-dragging by Myanmar's ruling military junta. The United States was waiting for approval to start military flights.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters that Washington was "fully prepared to help and to help right away, and it would be a tragedy if these assets" were not used. The Navy said four ships, including the destroyer USS Mustin and the three-vessel Essex Expeditionary Strike Force, were heading for Myanmar from the Gulf of Thailand after the Essex deployed helicopters to Thailand for aid operations.
Witnesses have seen little evidence of a relief effort in the delta that was swamped in Saturday's storm. It was the worst cyclone in Asia since 1991, when 143,000 people were killed in neighboring Bangladesh. "We'll starve to death if nothing is sent to us," said Zaw Win, a 32-year-old fisherman who waded through floating corpses to find a boat for the two-hour journey to Bogalay, a town where the government said 10,000 people were killed.
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What the junta in Myanmar is doing to their own people is a crime against humanity. To leave the vicitms of a natural disaster without food and water is a crime . They are just as responsible for the deaths of these people now as the cyclone was, and need to be condemned for their actions by the international community.
U.S.Campaign For Burma
Here is one website with up to date news on this devastating tragedy and ways you can donate to those in need. If I find any sites in regards to water I will also post them here.
And speaking of water, this is a website that describes the Myanmar ritual of 'Thingyan' which is the dousing of people with water before their new year as a ritual of washing away the old. They would have celebrated this festival not too long before this cyclone hit them... and now they need water desperately.
Thingyan In Myanmar