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July 21, 2008

Cyclone Nargis aid effort to cost one billion US$

Filed under: Asia,Cyclone Nargis,Disasters and accidents,Myanmar — admin @ 5:00 am

Cyclone Nargis aid effort to cost one billion US$

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Cyclone Nargis caused an unprecedented level of destruction
Image: US Government.

According to a new report released jointly by the Government of the Myanmar, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations (UN), the cost of providing aid and funding reconstruction after will be US $1 billion over the next three years.

ASEAN said in a press release that Cyclone Nargis was the “most devastating natural disaster in Myanmar’s history”. They also say that the cyclone had a “similar scale of impact to that of the Indian Ocean Tsunami in Indonesia in 2004”. 84,530 died in the cyclone and 53,836 remain missing.

The study also reported that a high number of families are in need of shelter due to the destruction of their property by the cyclone. It says that 57% of people had their home completely destroyed by the cyclone, whilst only 2% of people had no damage to their home.

On May 9, the United Nations requested $187 million in aid for Myanmar, but this figure has increased as the full extent of the damage has been revealed. The amount of donations were several times bigger than the requested amount. By 15 June, around 12 billion kyat, or two billion dollars in donations had already been received by the government of Myanmar, according to the report.



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June 5, 2008

U.S. Navy forced to give up on Burma relief

U.S. Navy forced to give up on Burma relief

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cyclone Nargis
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Nargis 01 may 2008 0440Z.jpg

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The seal of the US Navy

The United States Navy was forced to withdraw from its Cyclone Nargis relief efforts in Burma/Myanmar today due to the continued refusal of the ruling State Peace and Development Council government to allow the delivery of aid. Four U.S. naval ships were ordered to depart from the area on Thursday. After 15 failed attempts to convince the ruling military junta to allow U.S. helicopters to deliver much needed supplies to areas such as the Irrawaddy Delta, Admiral Timothy J. Keating, the head of the U.S. Pacific Command, indicated that they were left with no choice but to leave.

“I am both saddened and frustrated to know that we have been in a position to help ease the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people … but have been unable to do so because of the unrelenting positions of the Burma military junta,” Keating said via his headquarters. He said that the U.S. would still be willing to offer help if the junta simply allowed them in.

The British and French navies have also been forced to withdraw due to the junta’s unwillingness to allow them to provide assistance to cyclone victims. United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had been previously assured by the ruling Burmese generals that relief workers would be allowed to help, but reports indicate this has still not happened on the ground. The UN, in its latest report on the situation, noted that Burma was faced with a “serious lack of sustained humanitarian assistance for the affected populations.”

Cquote1.svg I am both saddened and frustrated to know that we have been in a position to help ease the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people . . . but have been unable to do so because of the unrelenting positions of the Burma military junta Cquote2.svg

—Admiral Timothy J. Keating

Foreign aid agencies already in place and trying to help victims have reported that they continue to face problems in delivering large volumes of relief supplies in the affected regions. The U.S. naval ships had 22 heavy-lift helicopters that would have been ideally suited to the task. “Important heavy-lifting capability in the delta would have been a standard operating procedure for relief agencies in the response,” said Paul Risley of the United Nations World Food Program. The UN group has been trying to get ten civilian helicopters to fill the role in the interim, but the Burmese authorities have still not allowed nine of the civilian aircraft to be used in the relief efforts.

To date, the Burmese military has allowed 106 airlifts of foreign supplies to occur, but only into Rangoon, the largest city in the nation. Those delivered supplies are slated to be forwarded to the areas devastated by the cyclone. However, the ruling junta has refused to allow inland flights of foreign military helicopters to deliver relief aid. The junta believes they have sufficient abilities to deliver the resources but foreign analysts believe that the group does not wish to demonstrate to the Burmese people that it needs outside help. Doctors Without Borders has said that the relief efforts to date are not enough, and that many remote areas have received no assistance.

The UN determined that Burma may need relief efforts for a year. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has found that 495,000 acres of rice production areas have been damaged out of a total of 2.5 million acres. The areas are either still under too much water to sustain crops, or have been contaminated by seawater during Cyclone Nargis. According to Risley, the year-long importing of rice would be required as the damage was done just before the normal planting season. “This year’s crop will not meet requirements,” Risley said. “The losses to the production of rice are very deep. It would be typical for the WFP to provide food rations through the next harvest, which could be a year away.”

Access by foreigners to Burma has been generally restricted since the cyclone. Visas and travel permission to affected areas have been limited by the government. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement reported that “the small number of visas and the short duration of travel permits for access” into the areas in need of aid “continue to impose serious constraints on the effectiveness of overall operations.” The World Health Organization has said that, as of yet, there appears to be no “second wave” of deaths in the wake of the blocked relief efforts, which may be a sign of hope.

78,000 people were killed by the cyclone. To date, another 56,000 remain unaccounted for, according to Burma’s government.



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May 24, 2008

Myanmar to allow foreign aid says UN\’s Ban Ki Moon

Myanmar to allow foreign aid says UN’s Ban Ki Moon

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cyclone Nargis
Related stories
  • 21 July 2008: Cyclone Nargis aid effort to cost one billion US$
  • 5 June 2008: U.S. Navy forced to give up on Burma relief
  • 24 May 2008: Myanmar to allow foreign aid says UN’s Ban Ki Moon
  • 16 May 2008: Official Myanmar death toll increases to 78,000
  • 12 May 2008: UK opposition leader calls for Burma aid to be dispatched by air if access for aid workers does not improve
Image
Nargis 01 may 2008 0440Z.jpg

Related links
  • Tropical cyclone on Wikipedia
  • 2008 North Indian Ocean cyclone season
  • Background on Burma
  • Wiktionary’s definition of a cyclone

Satellite photographs showing the region before and after the cyclone.
Image: NASA.

After travelling in-person to Myanmar, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Ban Ki-moon, has announced that international aid-workers will be granted access to the cyclone-ravaged country.

Ban, who met with Senior General Than Shwe — considered the head of Myanmar’s military junta — told reporters, “I had a very good meeting with the senior general, particularly on these aid workers.”

“He has agreed to allow all the aid workers, regardless of nationality. I urged him that it would be crucially important for him to allow aid workers as swiftly as possible and all these aid relief items also be delivered to the needy people as soon as possible.”

International observers and aid organizations met the news with skepticism and were reported as “puzzled” and “surprised” at the announcement and expressed concerns that the offer was not genuine.

“We’ll believe it when we see the aid workers on the ground in the delta,” Zoya Phan, of the Burma Campaign UK, said. “The generals have a long track record of lying to the UN. If the regime is genuine, then we’ll know within 24 hours, as they’ll take down the army checkpoints which are stopping Burmese and international aid workers getting into the delta.”

“This discrepancy is a confidence gap that has to be verified, that has to be reconciled,” said the ASEAN secretary general, Surin Pitsuwan. “Whether the Sunday pledging conference will be successful or not depends on the ability to reconcile the difference.”

The UN says that over a million people are still in dire need of food, water, shelter and medical supplies, while the official Myanmar position is that “the emergency phase of the operation is over.”

“Seeing is believing,” said Tom Casey of the United States Disaster Assistance Response Team to reporters in Washington. “We certainly will continue to test that by pushing for visas for our DART team, among others, and hopefully we’ll see a change in behavior.”

US aid workers are still awaiting visas before they can enter Myanmar. Team leader William Berger was given a tour of the affected region along with a briefing, though he was not allowed to give his own assessment.



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May 16, 2008

Official Myanmar death toll increases to 78,000

Official Myanmar death toll increases to 78,000

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Cyclone Nargis
Related stories
  • 21 July 2008: Cyclone Nargis aid effort to cost one billion US$
  • 5 June 2008: U.S. Navy forced to give up on Burma relief
  • 24 May 2008: Myanmar to allow foreign aid says UN’s Ban Ki Moon
  • 16 May 2008: Official Myanmar death toll increases to 78,000
  • 12 May 2008: UK opposition leader calls for Burma aid to be dispatched by air if access for aid workers does not improve
Image
Nargis 01 may 2008 0440Z.jpg

Related links
  • Tropical cyclone on Wikipedia
  • 2008 North Indian Ocean cyclone season
  • Background on Burma
  • Wiktionary’s definition of a cyclone

State run television in Myanmar has reported that the death toll from the recent cyclone has increased dramatically to 77,738. In addition to this, 55,917 people are still officially missing.

In what are admittedly rough estimates, the United Nations (UN) estimates that more than 100,000 have died, while the International Red Cross projects 128,000 deaths. At least 10,000 people died just in Bogale Township in the Pyapon District of the country.

Image: Robert A. Rohde.

The United Nations has reported that 2.5 million people are homeless, or in need of help in the Irrawaddy Delta.

The military junta that governs the country says that it can handle relief operations and that they are going well. It is still turning down international offers to transport aid directly to the affected areas. According to state television, Prime Minister Thein Sein said, “We have already finished our first phase of emergency relief. We are going onto the second phase, the rebuilding stage.”

“Time is life,” said Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development & Humanitarian Aid to reporters at Bangkok International Airport in Thailand. “No government in the world can tackle such a problem alone. This is a major catastrophe.”

Michel was returning from a trip to Yangon where he was unsuccessful at urging the junta to allow direct aid despite its pride and paranoia about the outside world.

Aid groups, including UN agencies, say only a fraction of the required relief is getting through and, unless the situation improves, thousands more lives are at risk.

According to The New York Times, the United States and some European allies had considered a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for “humanitarian intervention” in Myanmar, which would give authorization for a relief mission without approval of the military authorities in Myanmar. The idea was dismissed after it became clear that China would veto any such resolution.

The US has a assembled number of ships, helicopters, transport airplanes and marines in the region, ready to assist in cyclone relief if given approval by the government of Myanmar. US officials say that helicopters can bring in assistance to areas inland from the coast and further help distribute supplies across the country. Myanmar has approved fewer than 20 cargo planes to bring supplies to the capital, Yangon.

Than Shwe has twice refused to converse with Ban Ki-moon, pictured here in 2007.
Image: Agência Brasil.

At the United Nations Headquarters, a row occurred when Myanmar’s ambassador to the UN, Kyaw Tint Swe, interrupted the French ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert during a speech to the General Assembly. He accused France of sending a warship to Myanmar.

“It’s not true,” Ripert said. While the ship is operated by the French Navy, it is not a warship but a ship carrying 1500 tonnes of food and medicine, Ripert insisted. It also has small boats to reach the flooded Irrawaddy Delta. The ship will reach the coast of Myanmar on Saturday, awaiting approval to deliver aid.

Meanwhile, the UN is sending John Holmes, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, to make contact with Myanmar’s reclusive military leaders to improve UN access to the hardest-hit areas.

According to UN spokesperson, Michèle Montas, Holmes will arrive in Myanmar on Sunday. He will be carrying a letter from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Senior General Than Shwe, who has twice previously refused to converse with Ban.



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May 12, 2008

UK opposition leader calls for Burma aid to be dispatched by air if access for aid workers does not improve

UK opposition leader calls for Burma aid to be dispatched by air if access for aid workers does not improve

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Cyclone Nargis
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Nargis 01 may 2008 0440Z.jpg

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  • Tropical cyclone on Wikipedia
  • 2008 North Indian Ocean cyclone season
  • Background on Burma
  • Wiktionary’s definition of a cyclone

David Cameron, the leader of the main UK opposition party, the Conservative Party, has said that aid to Burma should be dispatched by air if the Burmese government does not improve access to the country for aid workers.

David Cameron said this in a statement, which was released today. Below is part of the statement:

Cquote1.svg If the Burmese government does not agree to the distribution of aid on the scale required, then the case for unilateral delivery of aid by the international community will only grow stronger. There was general frustration at what the United Nations itself can or would do. Again, as time runs out for the people of the Irrawaddy Delta, and as a fresh storm approaches the area this week, the case for the United Nations invoking the ‘responsibility to protect’ – which could trigger action by the rest of the international community – grows stronger too. The argument against this is that China – and Russia – would be bound to block it. But the Chinese have a choice: either they put effective pressure on the regime to save lives, in which case aid will get through – or not, in which case the argument for invoking the UN’s ‘responsibility to protect’ will get stronger still. Cquote2.svg

However David Miliband, British Foreign Secretary and Labour Party member, told the BBC’s Politics Show yesterday that air delivery is “not a very effective way of delivering aid” and that “humanitarian experts and aid workers who make all the difference on the ground are clear that that is very much the third, fourth, fifth or even sixth best solution.”

Nick Clegg, leader of Britain’s second largest opposition party, the Liberal Democrats, took Cameron’s side however, saying that the international community ought to support direct aid-dropping “to show that we mean business”.

22,464 people have been confirmed dead from Cyclone Nargis, with the majority of the casualties having taken place in Burma. Only once rescue workers reached the hardest hit areas of the storm did they begin to realize the extent of damage that had occurred. At least 10,000 people died in one town alone, Bogalay in the Pyapon District of the country.

The United Nations has reported that one million people are homeless, or in need of help in some other way.



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May 10, 2008

Ignored warnings \’worsened\’ Myanmar cyclone

Filed under: Cyclone Nargis — admin @ 5:00 am

Saturday, May 10, 2008

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Cyclone Nargis on and Wikipedia.
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People studying the situation in Myanmar are claiming that an inadequate response of the government of Myanmar (formerly Burma) to scientists’ warnings about the cyclone, coupled with large-scale destruction of protective mangroves along its coasts, aggravated the devastation wreaked by tropical Cyclone Nargis.

The cyclone has killed an estimated 22,980 people so far, with millions rendered homeless by the disaster, which struck the Irrawaddy Delta region of Myanmar last week (3 May).

Scientists at the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in New Delhi, the World Meteorological Organisation‘s specialist centre for Asia, say they issued the first of the cyclone bulletins to Myanmar as early as 26 April.

Mrityunjay Mohapatra, director of IMD’s cyclone-warning centre, told SciDev.Net that Myanmar was warned of the impending cyclone at least 48 hours in advance. But there was no acknowledgement from Myanmar’s meteorological office, or any indication of a response.

Mohapatra says IMD’s first warning bulletin, issued on 1 May, indicated the land area likely to be hit by the cyclone. It warned that a cyclone with wind speeds of 180 kilometres per hour would cross the southwest coast of Myanmar sometime between 8pm and midnight on the night of the 2 May.

IMD’s bulletins contain information on the actual and predicted centre, intensity and movement of the cyclone, as well as sea conditions and maximum wind speeds around the cyclone centre.

Uma Charan Mohanty, from the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre in Thailand, said that, according to the World Meteorological Organisation’s data, Asian cyclones are fewer and less intense than hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean or typhoons in the Pacific Ocean region, but they cause more death and destruction. In 2005, 25 hurricanes in the Atlantic caused 10 deaths, but cyclone Sidr, which hit Bangladesh in 2007, left 3,500 dead.

Mohanty says that the Atlantic coast has a good early-warning system and people have the means to drive to safer areas. In contrast, Asian coasts are densely populated, with many poor fishing and farming communities who cannot evacuate on their own, even if they have been warned.

News agencies quote Maung Swe, Myanmar’s minister for relief and resettlement, who told a press conference (6 May) that most deaths were caused by a 3.5-metre-high storm surge — a wall of water that develops when cyclonic winds churn up sea water.

Mohanty says that 85 per cent of cyclone deaths are due to storm surges and that predictions of the size and location of such surges are critical in disaster forecasting.

Asian coasts are also becoming increasingly vulnerable because of the loss of protective mangrove forests that serve as windbreaks and limit damage by storm and tidal surges.

In a 2006 report, the International Union for Conservation of Nature said that areas in Sri Lanka with mangrove forests suffered less damage in the 2004 Asian tsunami, compared with regions where forests had been destroyed.

And in January 2008, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization warned that Asia is fast losing its coastal mangroves, with more than 1.9 million hectares being destroyed each year.

The organisation’s report reviewed the world’s mangroves between 1980 and 2005. It found that the mangrove forests around Myanmar’s Irrawady Delta had degraded because of “overexploitation” and the conversion of land for rice fields — promoted by the government as a way to ensure self-sufficiency in food production.

Government officials in Myanmar have said that 22,464 people have been confirmed dead from Cyclone Nargis.

Only once rescue workers reached the hardest hit areas of the storm did they begin to realize the extent of damage that had occurred. At least 10,000 people died in one town alone, Bogalay in the Pyapon District of the country.

The United Nations has reported that one million people are homeless, or in need of help in some other way.


Sources

  • “Ignored warnings ‘worsened’ Myanmar cyclone disaster”. SciDev.Net, May 10, 2008
  • Ban Ki-moon “SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES MYANMAR GOVERNMENT TO EASE ARRIVAL OF AID WORKERS”. United Nations, May 8, 2008
  • “UN aid flights to Burma under way”. BBC News Online, May 8, 2008
  • “Myanmar state radio says cyclone death toll soars above 22,000”. Associated Press, May 6, 2008
  • “Cyclone in Myanmar kills at least 15,000”. United Press international, May 5, 2008
  • Aung Hla Tun “Myanmar says cyclone death toll 15,000 and set to rise”. Washington Post, May 5, 2008

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Ignored warnings \’worsened\’ situation in Myanmar

Ignored warnings ‘worsened’ situation in Myanmar

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cyclone Nargis
Related stories
  • 21 July 2008: Cyclone Nargis aid effort to cost one billion US$
  • 5 June 2008: U.S. Navy forced to give up on Burma relief
  • 24 May 2008: Myanmar to allow foreign aid says UN’s Ban Ki Moon
  • 16 May 2008: Official Myanmar death toll increases to 78,000
  • 12 May 2008: UK opposition leader calls for Burma aid to be dispatched by air if access for aid workers does not improve
Image
Nargis 01 may 2008 0440Z.jpg

Related links
  • Tropical cyclone on Wikipedia
  • 2008 North Indian Ocean cyclone season
  • Background on Burma
  • Wiktionary’s definition of a cyclone

People studying the situation in Myanmar are claiming that an inadequate response of the government of Myanmar (formerly Burma) to scientists’ warnings about the cyclone, coupled with large-scale destruction of protective mangroves along its coasts, aggravated the devastation wreaked by tropical Cyclone Nargis.

The cyclone has killed an estimated 22,980 people so far, with millions rendered homeless by the disaster, which struck the Irrawaddy Delta region of Myanmar last week (3 May).

Scientists at the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in New Delhi, the World Meteorological Organisation’s specialist centre for Asia, say they issued the first of the cyclone bulletins to Myanmar as early as 26 April.

Mrityunjay Mohapatra, director of IMD’s cyclone-warning centre, told SciDev.Net that Myanmar was warned of the impending cyclone at least 48 hours in advance. But there was no acknowledgement from Myanmar’s meteorological office, or any indication of a response.

Mohapatra says IMD’s first warning bulletin, issued on 1 May, indicated the land area likely to be hit by the cyclone. It warned that a cyclone with wind speeds of 180 kilometres per hour would cross the southwest coast of Myanmar sometime between 8pm and midnight on the night of the 2 May.

IMD’s bulletins contain information on the actual and predicted centre, intensity and movement of the cyclone, as well as sea conditions and maximum wind speeds around the cyclone centre.

Uma Charan Mohanty, from the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre in Thailand, said that, according to the World Meteorological Organisation’s data, Asian cyclones are fewer and less intense than hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean or typhoons in the Pacific Ocean region, but they cause more death and destruction. In 2005, 25 hurricanes in the Atlantic caused 10 deaths, but cyclone Sidr, which hit Bangladesh in 2007, left 3,500 dead.

Mohanty says that the Atlantic coast has a good early-warning system and people have the means to drive to safer areas. In contrast, Asian coasts are densely populated, with many poor fishing and farming communities who cannot evacuate on their own, even if they have been warned.

News agencies quote Maung Swe, Myanmar’s minister for relief and resettlement, who told a press conference (6 May) that most deaths were caused by a 3.5-metre-high storm surge — a wall of water that develops when cyclonic winds churn up sea water.

Mohanty says that 85 per cent of cyclone deaths are due to storm surges and that predictions of the size and location of such surges are critical in disaster forecasting.

Asian coasts are also becoming increasingly vulnerable because of the loss of protective mangrove forests that serve as windbreaks and limit damage by storm and tidal surges.

In a 2006 report, the International Union for Conservation of Nature said that areas in Sri Lanka with mangrove forests suffered less damage in the 2004 Asian tsunami, compared with regions where forests had been destroyed.

And in January 2008, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization warned that Asia is fast losing its coastal mangroves, with more than 1.9 million hectares being destroyed each year.

The organisation’s report reviewed the world’s mangroves between 1980 and 2005. It found that the mangrove forests around Myanmar’s Irrawady Delta had degraded because of “overexploitation” and the conversion of land for rice fields — promoted by the government as a way to ensure self-sufficiency in food production.

Government officials in Myanmar have said that 22,464 people have been confirmed dead from Cyclone Nargis.

Only once rescue workers reached the hardest hit areas of the storm did they begin to realize the extent of damage that had occurred. At least 10,000 people died in one town alone, Bogalay in the Pyapon District of the country.

The United Nations has reported that one million people are homeless, or in need of help in some other way.



Sources


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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Ignored warnings \’worsened\’ situation in Myanmar

Filed under: Cyclone Nargis — admin @ 5:00 am

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Related news
Cyclone Nargis on and Wikipedia.
Collaborate!
  • Newsroom
  • Style Guide – how to write
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People studying the situation in Myanmar are claiming that an inadequate response of the government of Myanmar (formerly Burma) to scientists’ warnings about the cyclone, coupled with large-scale destruction of protective mangroves along its coasts, aggravated the devastation wreaked by tropical Cyclone Nargis.

The cyclone has killed an estimated 22,980 people so far, with millions rendered homeless by the disaster, which struck the Irrawaddy Delta region of Myanmar last week (3 May).

Scientists at the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in New Delhi, the World Meteorological Organisation‘s specialist centre for Asia, say they issued the first of the cyclone bulletins to Myanmar as early as 26 April.

Mrityunjay Mohapatra, director of IMD’s cyclone-warning centre, told SciDev.Net that Myanmar was warned of the impending cyclone at least 48 hours in advance. But there was no acknowledgement from Myanmar’s meteorological office, or any indication of a response.

Mohapatra says IMD’s first warning bulletin, issued on 1 May, indicated the land area likely to be hit by the cyclone. It warned that a cyclone with wind speeds of 180 kilometres per hour would cross the southwest coast of Myanmar sometime between 8pm and midnight on the night of the 2 May.

IMD’s bulletins contain information on the actual and predicted centre, intensity and movement of the cyclone, as well as sea conditions and maximum wind speeds around the cyclone centre.

Uma Charan Mohanty, from the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre in Thailand, said that, according to the World Meteorological Organisation’s data, Asian cyclones are fewer and less intense than hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean or typhoons in the Pacific Ocean region, but they cause more death and destruction. In 2005, 25 hurricanes in the Atlantic caused 10 deaths, but cyclone Sidr, which hit Bangladesh in 2007, left 3,500 dead.

Mohanty says that the Atlantic coast has a good early-warning system and people have the means to drive to safer areas. In contrast, Asian coasts are densely populated, with many poor fishing and farming communities who cannot evacuate on their own, even if they have been warned.

News agencies quote Maung Swe, Myanmar’s minister for relief and resettlement, who told a press conference (6 May) that most deaths were caused by a 3.5-metre-high storm surge — a wall of water that develops when cyclonic winds churn up sea water.

Mohanty says that 85 per cent of cyclone deaths are due to storm surges and that predictions of the size and location of such surges are critical in disaster forecasting.

Asian coasts are also becoming increasingly vulnerable because of the loss of protective mangrove forests that serve as windbreaks and limit damage by storm and tidal surges.

In a 2006 report, the International Union for Conservation of Nature said that areas in Sri Lanka with mangrove forests suffered less damage in the 2004 Asian tsunami, compared with regions where forests had been destroyed.

And in January 2008, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization warned that Asia is fast losing its coastal mangroves, with more than 1.9 million hectares being destroyed each year.

The organisation’s report reviewed the world’s mangroves between 1980 and 2005. It found that the mangrove forests around Myanmar’s Irrawady Delta had degraded because of “overexploitation” and the conversion of land for rice fields — promoted by the government as a way to ensure self-sufficiency in food production.

Government officials in Myanmar have said that 22,464 people have been confirmed dead from Cyclone Nargis.

Only once rescue workers reached the hardest hit areas of the storm did they begin to realize the extent of damage that had occurred. At least 10,000 people died in one town alone, Bogalay in the Pyapon District of the country.

The United Nations has reported that one million people are homeless, or in need of help in some other way.


Sources

  • “Ignored warnings ‘worsened’ Myanmar cyclone disaster”. SciDev.Net, May 10, 2008
  • Ban Ki-moon “SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES MYANMAR GOVERNMENT TO EASE ARRIVAL OF AID WORKERS”. United Nations, May 8, 2008
  • “UN aid flights to Burma under way”. BBC News Online, May 8, 2008
  • “Myanmar state radio says cyclone death toll soars above 22,000”. Associated Press, May 6, 2008
  • “Cyclone in Myanmar kills at least 15,000”. United Press international, May 5, 2008
  • Aung Hla Tun “Myanmar says cyclone death toll 15,000 and set to rise”. Washington Post, May 5, 2008

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Ignored warnings \’worsened\’ situation in Myanmar

Filed under: Cyclone Nargis — admin @ 5:00 am

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Related news
Cyclone Nargis on and Wikipedia.
Collaborate!
  • Newsroom
  • Style Guide – how to write
  • Content Guide – what to write

People studying the situation in Myanmar are claiming that an inadequate response of the government of Myanmar (formerly Burma) to scientists’ warnings about the cyclone, coupled with large-scale destruction of protective mangroves along its coasts, aggravated the devastation wreaked by tropical Cyclone Nargis.

The cyclone has killed an estimated 22,980 people so far, with millions rendered homeless by the disaster, which struck the Irrawaddy Delta region of Myanmar last week (3 May).

Scientists at the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in New Delhi, the World Meteorological Organisation‘s specialist centre for Asia, say they issued the first of the cyclone bulletins to Myanmar as early as 26 April.

Mrityunjay Mohapatra, director of IMD’s cyclone-warning centre, told SciDev.Net that Myanmar was warned of the impending cyclone at least 48 hours in advance. But there was no acknowledgement from Myanmar’s meteorological office, or any indication of a response.

Mohapatra says IMD’s first warning bulletin, issued on 1 May, indicated the land area likely to be hit by the cyclone. It warned that a cyclone with wind speeds of 180 kilometres per hour would cross the southwest coast of Myanmar sometime between 8pm and midnight on the night of the 2 May.

IMD’s bulletins contain information on the actual and predicted centre, intensity and movement of the cyclone, as well as sea conditions and maximum wind speeds around the cyclone centre.

Uma Charan Mohanty, from the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre in Thailand, said that, according to the World Meteorological Organisation’s data, Asian cyclones are fewer and less intense than hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean or typhoons in the Pacific Ocean region, but they cause more death and destruction. In 2005, 25 hurricanes in the Atlantic caused 10 deaths, but cyclone Sidr, which hit Bangladesh in 2007, left 3,500 dead.

Mohanty says that the Atlantic coast has a good early-warning system and people have the means to drive to safer areas. In contrast, Asian coasts are densely populated, with many poor fishing and farming communities who cannot evacuate on their own, even if they have been warned.

News agencies quote Maung Swe, Myanmar’s minister for relief and resettlement, who told a press conference (6 May) that most deaths were caused by a 3.5-metre-high storm surge — a wall of water that develops when cyclonic winds churn up sea water.

Mohanty says that 85 per cent of cyclone deaths are due to storm surges and that predictions of the size and location of such surges are critical in disaster forecasting.

Asian coasts are also becoming increasingly vulnerable because of the loss of protective mangrove forests that serve as windbreaks and limit damage by storm and tidal surges.

In a 2006 report, the International Union for Conservation of Nature said that areas in Sri Lanka with mangrove forests suffered less damage in the 2004 Asian tsunami, compared with regions where forests had been destroyed.

And in January 2008, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization warned that Asia is fast losing its coastal mangroves, with more than 1.9 million hectares being destroyed each year.

The organisation’s report reviewed the world’s mangroves between 1980 and 2005. It found that the mangrove forests around Myanmar’s Irrawady Delta had degraded because of “overexploitation” and the conversion of land for rice fields — promoted by the government as a way to ensure self-sufficiency in food production.

Government officials in Myanmar have said that 22,464 people have been confirmed dead from Cyclone Nargis.

Only once rescue workers reached the hardest hit areas of the storm did they begin to realize the extent of damage that had occurred. At least 10,000 people died in one town alone, Bogalay in the Pyapon District of the country.

The United Nations has reported that one million people are homeless, or in need of help in some other way.


Sources

  • “Ignored warnings ‘worsened’ Myanmar cyclone disaster”. SciDev.Net, May 10, 2008
  • Ban Ki-moon “SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES MYANMAR GOVERNMENT TO EASE ARRIVAL OF AID WORKERS”. United Nations, May 8, 2008
  • “UN aid flights to Burma under way”. BBC News Online, May 8, 2008
  • “Myanmar state radio says cyclone death toll soars above 22,000”. Associated Press, May 6, 2008
  • “Cyclone in Myanmar kills at least 15,000”. United Press international, May 5, 2008
  • Aung Hla Tun “Myanmar says cyclone death toll 15,000 and set to rise”. Washington Post, May 5, 2008

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Ignored warnings \’worsened\’ situation in Myanmar

Saturday, May 10, 2008

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People studying the situation in Myanmar are claiming that an inadequate response of the government of Myanmar (Burma) to scientists’ warnings about the cyclone, coupled with large-scale destruction of protective mangroves along its coasts, aggravated the devastation wreaked by tropical Cyclone Nargis.

The cyclone has killed an estimated 22,980 people so far, with millions rendered homeless by the disaster, which struck the Irrawaddy Delta region of Myanmar last week (3 May).

Scientists at the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in New Delhi, the World Meteorological Organisation‘s specialist centre for Asia, say they issued the first of the cyclone bulletins to Myanmar as early as 26 April.

Mrityunjay Mohapatra, director of IMD’s cyclone-warning centre, told SciDev.Net that Myanmar was warned of the impending cyclone at least 48 hours in advance. But there was no acknowledgement from Myanmar’s meteorological office, or any indication of a response.

Mohapatra says IMD’s first warning bulletin, issued on 1 May, indicated the land area likely to be hit by the cyclone. It warned that a cyclone with wind speeds of 180 kilometres per hour would cross the southwest coast of Myanmar sometime between 8pm and midnight on the night of the 2 May.

IMD’s bulletins contain information on the actual and predicted centre, intensity and movement of the cyclone, as well as sea conditions and maximum wind speeds around the cyclone centre.

Uma Charan Mohanty, from the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre in Thailand, said that, according to the World Meteorological Organisation’s data, Asian cyclones are fewer and less intense than hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean or typhoons in the Pacific Ocean region, but they cause more death and destruction. In 2005, 25 hurricanes in the Atlantic caused 10 deaths, but cyclone Sidr, which hit Bangladesh in 2007, left 3,500 dead.

Mohanty says that the Atlantic coast has a good early-warning system and people have the means to drive to safer areas. In contrast, Asian coasts are densely populated, with many poor fishing and farming communities who cannot evacuate on their own, even if they have been warned.

News agencies quote Maung Swe, Myanmar’s minister for relief and resettlement, who told a press conference (6 May) that most deaths were caused by a 3.5-metre-high storm surge — a wall of water that develops when cyclonic winds churn up sea water.

Mohanty says that 85 per cent of cyclone deaths are due to storm surges and that predictions of the size and location of such surges are critical in disaster forecasting.

Asian coasts are also becoming increasingly vulnerable because of the loss of protective mangrove forests that serve as windbreaks and limit damage by storm and tidal surges.

In a 2006 report, the International Union for Conservation of Nature said that areas in Sri Lanka with mangrove forests suffered less damage in the 2004 Asian tsunami, compared with regions where forests had been destroyed.

And in January 2008, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization warned that Asia is fast losing its coastal mangroves, with more than 1.9 million hectares being destroyed each year.

The organisation’s report reviewed the world’s mangroves between 1980 and 2005. It found that the mangrove forests around Myanmar’s Irrawady Delta had degraded because of “overexploitation” and the conversion of land for rice fields — promoted by the government as a way to ensure self-sufficiency in food production.

Government officials in Myanmar have said that 22,464 people have been confirmed dead from Cyclone Nargis.

Only once rescue workers reached the hardest hit areas of the storm did they begin to realize the extent of damage that had occurred. At least 10,000 people died in one town alone, Bogalay in the Pyapon District of the country.

The United Nations has reported that one million people are homeless, or in need of help in some other way.


Sources

  • “Ignored warnings ‘worsened’ Myanmar cyclone disaster”. SciDev.Net, May 10, 2008
  • Ban Ki-moon “SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES MYANMAR GOVERNMENT TO EASE ARRIVAL OF AID WORKERS”. United Nations, May 8, 2008
  • “UN aid flights to Burma under way”. BBC News Online, May 8, 2008
  • “Myanmar state radio says cyclone death toll soars above 22,000”. Associated Press, May 6, 2008
  • “Cyclone in Myanmar kills at least 15,000”. United Press international, May 5, 2008
  • Aung Hla Tun “Myanmar says cyclone death toll 15,000 and set to rise”. Washington Post, May 5, 2008

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
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