UN rushes aid to Nargis victims
UN and private aid agencies are geared up to provide humanitarian aid to thousands of victims of cyclone Nargis in Myanmar.Updated: May 06, 2008 11:06 IST
UN and private aid agencies went into high gear to provide humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands victims of a devastating cyclone in Myanmar as the military government there gave green signal to the world body to send emergency aid.
Myanmar's state media on Tuesday said that last weekend's cyclone Nargis killed some 10,000 people in just one town, raising fears that the country's overall death toll will rise significantly. Earlier, the officials on Monday predicted that the death toll could reach more than 10,000.
It was yet unclear how the aid would be sent and whether UN will also distribute assistance sent by Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the country where large areas are without electricity, fuel, food and drinking water.
Assessment teams from some of the UN agencies are already on the ground determining the immediate and long term needs.
At the UN headquarters, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar had discussions with Myanmar's UN Ambassador Kyaw Tint Swe on Monday on the issue of sending humanitarian supplies. They also discussed the issues of coordination and communications.
The government has said that more than 10,000 people were feared killed in the storm packing wind of more than 190 kilometre per hour and it rendered of thousands homeless. Even in the capital of Yangon, buildings were badly damaged.
It could take several days to assess the damage caused by the Nargis and to count the dead as several roads are impassable and repair would be a time consuming process.
The aid could be delayed as the military government is wary of foreigners and every humanitarian group would need to get permission to enter the country.