Cyclone Giri Photos

Myanmar state media mum on Cyclone Giri destruction

Posted by ေက်ာက္ၿဖဴသားေခ် Thursday, 28 October 2010

Yangon - Myanmar's state-run media was mum Sunday on the destruction wrought by Cyclone Giri on the western Rakhine State, where relief agencies have reported widespread destruction.
Sunday newspapers reported that the cyclone had been downgraded to a low pressure area over the Sagaing Region by Saturday, but failed to reveal the extent of destruction the storm had done Friday to the coast of Rakhine State.
Meanwhile, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) reported that they have deployed emergency teams with the Myanmar Red Cross Society to respond to the impact of Giri which hit western Myanmar's Rakhine State 'causing significant damage and destruction to homes, public buildings and infrastructure.'
'There is still little clear information on the numbers of casualties and damage, but local branches of the Myanmar Red Cross Society say the most urgent needs are for food, water and shelter,' the IFRC said in a statement.
Cyclone Giri, packing 160 km/h winds, reportedly caused tidal waves of seven to eight metres above the normal water level, impacting islands and Kyaukpyu, a city of 185,000 on the Rakhine coastline, where 75 per cent of houses have been partly damaged, according to the IFRC.
The other affected townships include Ann, Minbya, Munaung, Myebon, Pauktaw and Sittwe in Rakhine State, the relief agency said.
'At least 1.4 million people are located within the cyclone's path, with 24,000 people living less than five metres above sea level,' it warned.
The cyclone, and the government's apparent lack of response, recalled to mind Cyclone Nargis which smashed in to Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta on May 2-3, 2008, unleashing a killer tsunami that devastated crops, shipping boats and housing while claiming at least 130,000 lives.
At the time, state media initially downplayed the impact of Nargis, which happened to coincide with a planned referendum by the ruling junta to win the approval for their new, military-drafted constitution.
State media on Sunday focused its coverage on the forthcoming general election, the first in 20 years.

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