Burma Cyclone

Latest News: All eyes on Myanmar and the military by carpediemdg

Cautious response to Burma pledge

Only a quarter of the 2.5m affected have received help, the UN says

Aid agencies have given a cautious welcome to the announcement that Burma’s leaders will allow all foreign relief workers into cyclone-hit areas.

The UN’s World Food Programme said the real test was whether its workers would be allowed to leave Rangoon for the devastated southern Irrawaddy Delta.

About 78,000 people died and 56,000 are missing after the 2 May cyclone.

Meanwhile, the polls have opened in the final stage of a controversial referendum on a new constitution.

Read the full article here.



Videos: BBC reporter captures horrifying state of cyclone survivors by carpediemdg

Here are some images from a BBC video of survivors and the cyclone aftermath. Reporter, Natalia Antelava reports on the horrifying condition on the ground. A human disaster is fast turning into a man-made one…

1) Here is the image of a cyclone survivor who said government helicopters did come for rescue but somehow missed them because they might not have seen them.

2) Here is a picture of a mother and child, huddled along with several others in a dark room – one of the few standing buildings in the area but without any electricity.

3) Here is the picture of a young boy who lost all his family in the cyclone. He said he clung to a tree for 14 hours before help could arrive. By then, it was too late for his family members.

4) Here, he points to what remains of his home.

5) Here is one of the only standing buildings where a few dozen survivors are taking refuge. 400 people lived in this particular village. 20 survive.

6) Here, a child eats a bit of rice – the only food available in addition to rain water.

Watch the entire video here.


Latest News: TOP OF THE AGENDA:Myanmar crisis devolves by carpediemdg

(via Ann Cooper, Columbia Journalism School Faculty)

A U.S. diplomat said the death toll in Myanmar following a cyclone could reach 100,000 (WashPost), a number sharply higher than initial estimates. Myanmar government figures put the number of victims at 22,000, with another 40,000 missing. But al-Jazeera reports the situation on the ground has become increasingly grave and that many initial survivors of the cyclone now face life-threatening circumstances, particularly given a lack of clean water.

Myanmar’s government has agreed to allow UN aircraft to fly in aid supplies (BBC). But relief organizations maintain that their efforts to assist the cyclone’s victims are still being hampered by the country’s military. France’s Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner yesterday invoked a UN doctrine called the “responsibility to protect” (IHT) as a way to possibly circumvent the military government. The 2005 doctrine says the international community has the right to intervene when a government could not or would not protect its civilians.

— Divya

Media: BBC reporter deported from Burma by carpediemdg
May 8, 2008, 3:28 pm
Filed under: Latest News, Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

(via Anup Kaphle, Columbia Journalism School student)

Getting the boot from Burma

By Andrew Harding
BBC News

A fallen tree and damaged houses in Rangoon
About a million people are now thought to be homeless

I flew into Burma on Monday morning from Bangkok. The smart new airport in Rangoon had finally reopened two days after the cyclone.

Low clouds obscured the vast wetlands of the Irrawaddy Delta but, as we came in to land, I caught a glimpse out of the window.

My mind flicked back to December 2004, flying into Aceh in Indonesia immediately after the tsunami, staring down at miles of pulverised coastline.

At this stage on Monday, the size of Burma’s disaster was not yet clear.

Over the weekend, the military authorities – safe in their brand new capital city far from Rangoon – appeared to be playing things down.

A few hundred dead perhaps, the state newspapers still overwhelmingly preoccupied with plans to hold a national referendum the following weekend.

The headlines full of the usual semi-threatening calls for a big Yes vote.

But the cyclone’s impact was already looking ominous.

There should have been a bright green jigsaw of rice paddies and villages below. Instead I saw a grey-brown smudge of water and ragged trees.

Read full story here