An Unseen Hand Warns Myanmar's Junta
An unseen Hand must have given a warning to the military junta in Myanmar to soften its hardline stance on those who rise up against its undemocratic policies. This, after a strong cyclone lashed and killed at least 4,000 people and injured thousands more in what appeared to be the worst that hit the landlocked Southeast Asian country.
What happened there was an eye-opener for the present government to at least re-think of what is good for the people. Already saddled in a lot of economic and political problems, the recent calamity had all the more worsen the sufferings of the poor people in Myanmar, most of them are desperately crying for freedom.
The situation was even made worse by the military junta's refusal to allow international relief agencies to come in and distribute relief goods to thousands of disaster victims. Most of those affected by the fierce storm called Nargis were residents of the low-lying areas of the country.
An Associated Press report said the storm packed a strong wind of up to 120 mph that resulted in the knocking down of electricity and destroying a large number of many rural houses made of light materials. Consequently, tens of thousands of people were rendered homeless by the cyclone.
The Myanmar's Foreign Ministry Department estimated that the death toll could reach to as much as 10,000 victims. Wire reports counted the current death toll at more than 4,000 fatalities. While the homeless people were evacuated and now taking shelter at Buddhist monasteries.
Like in any other Asian countries, when a strong natural calamity strikes, prices of commodities, including candles, would go up so fast. Such dilemma is now being experienced by many of the victims, knowing that commodity goods are already scarce in Myanmar.
Disaster warning system is not adequate in Myanmar. This was the reason why the government failed to warn the people that a super cyclone is coming for them to prepare.
Wire reports cited a US State Department source that Myanmar has not granted a Disaster Assistance Response Team to help the cyclone victims. But the World Vision has already sent its team to assess the situation in the hardest hit areas of the country.
A World Vision official commented that the recent cyclone that hit Myanmar was the second biggest calamity that hit South East Asia, after a tsunami killed more than 200,000 people in Indonesia and other Indian Ocean nations in 2004.
Distribution of relief goods to the disaster victims was even made more difficult due to poor communications and impassable roads leading to the hardest hit areas of the country, relief officials said.
However, foreign ministry officials Monday agreed to the idea of welcoming international humanitarian assistance into the country. At present, the disaster victims need roofing materials, tents, medicines, water purifhying tablets, blankets, mosquito nets, food and clothings.
Reports said that Yangon, a city with an estimated 6.5 million population, was not spared by the cyclone. In the meantime, thousands of workers have to stay home to attend to the needs of their families, rather than go to work. Without an income for so many days would all the more make it doubly difficult for the people to survive in a poor country like Myanmar.
Tags: Typhoon , Junta , Myanmar
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