Cyclone death toll nears 4,000 in Myanmar, state radio says
And nearly 3,000 others are unaccounted
Almost 4,000 people were killed and nearly 3,000 others are unaccounted for in a single town after a devastating cyclone in Myanmar, a state radio station said Monday, AP reports.
Tropical cyclon Nargis hit the Southeast Asian country, also known as Burma, early Saturday with winds of up to 120 mph. The cyclone blew roofs off hospitals and schools and cut electricity in Myanmar`s largest city, Yangon.
The government had previously put the death toll countrywide at 351 before increasing it Monday to 3,939.
The radio station broadcasting from the country`s capital, Naypyitaw, said that 2,879 more people are unaccounted for in a single town, Bogalay, in the country`s low-lying Irrawaddy River delta area where the storm wreaked the most havoc.
The situation in the countryside remained unclear because of poor communications and roads left impassable by the storm.
"It`s clear that we`re dealing with a very serious situation. The full extent of the impact and needs will require an extensive on-the-ground assessment," said Richard Horsey, a spokesman in Bangkok, Thailand for United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
"What is clear at this point is that there are several hundred thousands of people in dire need of shelter and clean drinking water," Horsey said.
Officials from Myanmar`s military government met Monday with representatives of international aid agencies to discuss providing assistance.
Neighboring Thailand announced that it would fly some aid in Tuesday.
The private aid agency World Vision said Myanmar`s government had invited it "to provide assistance in the form of zinc sheets, tents, tarpaulins and medicine."