The bodies of human beings and cattle were floating alongside our boat. We reached a destroyed village and were the first outsiders to reach them. Cyclone Nargis bombed them, flattened them and left them rattled with their spirit rattled,” the worker said. “The body of a five year-old boy drifted by, [the] child of a mourning mother somewhere, the boy drifting in an unknown waters, waiting for a burial, unwept and unsung,” the worker continued.“We witnessed children biting at old coconut shells as we went in,” said the worker. “Dead people and animals are everywhere. The people neither have the energy nor the will to bury them. There were many refugees, living in roofless churches and monasteries. Help has not reached them.”
Officials of various UN agencies called a news conference in Bangkok to give an update on their relief operations. The most basic data was missing, from the number of orphans to the extent of diseases and the number of refugee camps.
They also couldn’t say whether all survivors are in camps, on the move or still living in destroyed villages in the hardest-hit Irrawaddy delta. Cyclone Nargis also pounded Rangoon.
“The risk increases with each passing day,” Pitt said, referring to the vulnerability of survivors to outbreaks of disease and other problems.
Even the death toll has not been confirmed.
“Everyone is still using range of figures because we don’t have data yet. Access is making that difficult. We simply don’t have the information, and I can’t say when we will have it,” said Steve Marshall, a UN official who has just returned from Burma.
The government says at least 43,318 people were killed in the cyclone and nearly 28,000 are missing, but the Red Cross fears the toll may be as high as 128,000
France’s ambassador to the UN has accused Burma’s government of being on the verge of committing a crime against humanity by not accepting foreign aid.Jean-Maurice Ripert made the comment during a General Assembly session, after Burma’s UN ambassador accused France of sending a warship to region.France says the ship is carrying 1,500 tonnes of food and medicine for survivors of Cyclone Nargis.State TV has put the official death toll of the 2 May storm at 78,000.
Another 56,000 people are thought to be missing according to the latest official estimates, which nearly double the figures released on Thursday, raising fears the final human toll may be enormous.
On Saturday May 17th we want as many people as possible to gather across the world to call for the International community to intervene in the humanitarian crisis in Burma. These can be in the form of peaceful demonstrations or vigils which will be held to urge world governments and the United Nations to intervene by supplying aid to the 1.7 million people affected by cyclone Nargis.
The Burmese regime has consistently blocked the international community from providing food, water and medical supplies to the worst affected regions. Hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of death through starvation, dehydration and preventable diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea.
A truly global protest could make a BIG difference, YOU could make a big difference, as one Burmese refugee aid worker put it to us: “Global protest is a great idea. I told these guys about it and they are excited about it. Knowing that the world is with them means a lot.”
Just be sure: I will always be with the suffering people of Burma. But don’t know about others, Spanish press, for example. The only mentions I have found are: