At least 22,000 dead in Myanmar 

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At least 22,000 dead in Myanmar

6 May 08 - Myanmar's Irrawaddy delta- regarded as Myanmar's rice bowl - remained largely cut off from the rest of the world Tuesday, four days after a cyclone unleashed winds, floods and high tidal waves on the densely populated region, killing nearly 22,000. Another 41,000 are missing, and a million left homeless.

"From the reports we are getting, entire villages have been flattened and the final death toll may be huge," Mac Pieczowski, who heads the International Organization for Migration office in Yangon, said in a statement.

The cyclone triggered a massive storm surge that swept inland and left victims with nowhere to run, killing at least 10,000 people in one town alone.

"More deaths were caused by the tidal wave than the storm itself," Minister for Relief and Resettlement Maung Maung Swe told a news conference in the devastated former capital, Yangon, where food and water supplies are running low.

"The wave was up to 12 feet high and it swept away and inundated half the houses in low-lying villages," he said. "They did not have anywhere to flee."

               Last night’s news says that the price of rice in the area
               has skyrocketed by 1,000 percent. This in an area where
               people have lost their homes and probably have zero
               money in their possession. I expect the death toll to rise
               dramatically – perhaps into the hundreds of thousands
               - but the ruling military elite may keep a lid on that sort
              of news.




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