With the death toll from cyclone ‘Nargis’ rising houses, India on Tuesday sent two IAF aircraft carrying tents, medicines and food to the cyclone-battered Myanmar. This is in addition to the two naval ships, INS Rana and INS Kripan, which were sent on Monday carrying essential relief and medical supplies and tentage. Both the aircraft and ships are expected to reach Yangon on Wednesday, the MEA spokesperson said.
The Indian leadership has conveyed heartfelt condolences to the reclusive military junta in Myanmar, with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee offering “relief assistance” to help them cope with the calamity.
According to reports, the death toll from the cyclone that battered Myanmar last weekend rose above 22,000 on Tuesday as the international community prepared to rush in aid, state radio reported.
A news broadcast on government-run radio said that 22,464 people have now been confirmed dead from cyclone Nargis, which tore through the country's rice bowl and biggest city of Yangon early on Saturday.
The broadcast added that thousands more are missing.
Relief efforts for the stricken area, mostly in the low-lying Irrawaddy river delta, have been difficult, in large part because of the destruction of roads and communications outlets by the storm.