Filed under: Death Toll and missing, International Response, Latest News, Uncategorized | Tags: Burma state television, Death Toll and missing, Myanmar red cross society, red cross, UN, water-borne diseases
The Independent reports that in just one day Burma (Burmese State Television) reported that the official death toll had risen from 43,000 to 78,000. The number of missing had similarly jumped to exactly double from 28,000 to 56,000. The UN now estimates the death toll to be as high as 200,000 whereas the Red Cross estimates 128,000, according to the article. Without proper access, there is no accurate basis to back these numbers, the article added.
Other highlights from the article:
- An estimated 2.5 million survivors of the cyclone are facing an uphill battle to avoid disease and stand up on their feet again. (Burma’s total population is an estimated 50 million)
- Regime claims the crisis is fully under control – roadside begging for aid along mile-long stretches outside of Rangoon suggests otherwise.
- Red Cross warns that what survivors need most is clean drinking water if they are to not fall victims to deadly water-borne diseases.”Food is urgent, but you die in three days from acute diarrhea. You die of starvation in a period of weeks, ” said Thomas Gurtner, the head of operations for the Red Cross.
- Myanmar Red Cross Society is currently one of the very few agents distributing aid extensively on ground. Gurtner admits that its 27,000 volunteers are not enough and they are lacking material, logistical and staff capacity to take on the challenge they are facing on the ground.
- Military government continues to make tiny concessions – foreign diplomats will be given a tour of the severely affected Irrawaddy delta. They will be the first foreigners to inspect the region.
- The United Nations chief humanitarian affairs officer, John Holmes, flies to Burma tomorrow for talks which he hopes will persuade the generals to open the door to foreign aid.
- United Nations admitted it did not have a clue about the size of the emergency. At a press conference called by several UN agencies in Bangkok, the most basic data was missing, from the number of children orphaned to the extent of disease to the number of refugee camps.
Read full article here.