Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Situation in Irrawaddy Division

Cyclone Nargis completely destroyed a third of all fifty-six (56) village tracks, in Laputta Township of Irrawaddy Division. The most severely damaged village tracts include Thingan Gyi, Pyinsalu, Rway, and Layyin Kwin. During the night of the storm, a 12 to 16 foot tidal wave crashed down and flooded all one-story buildings, forcing people to climb on top of buildings for survival. When severe winds blew, people were thrown into the water, branches of trees broke, and house pillars collapsed. According to an eye witness, only one of the village’s one thousand houses remained standing after the flood.

In Laputta Township, local residents report that over 80,000 people have died or remain missing, and most people still do not have access to food or drinking water. Ships collected the survivors who were sent to monasteries and pagoda compounds. Donations from Laputta Township were collected to feed people with porridge. In Bogalay, over 10,000 people died and remain missing. In Kunchan Gone Township, about 5,000 people from town and 5,000 people from the countryside, have died or remain missing.

It is necessary for the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to call for immediate international assistance and to launch relief work in affected areas as soon as possible. In so doing, it is also necessary for the relief materials and cash assistance to reach the real victims of the natural disaster in the right way.