Myanmar + 1 more

Myanmar: Cyclone Nargis OCHA Situation Report No. 2

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This situation report is based on information received from the UN Resident Coordinator's Office, Myanmar, UN agencies, regional humanitarian partners and media sources.

I. SITUATION IN MYANMAR

1. Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar on 2 and 3 May 2008, sweeping through the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) delta region and the country's largest city, Yangon. The authorities have declared five states and divisions (Yangon, Ayeyarwady, Bago, Mon and Kayin) to be disaster areas. Yangon sustained a direct hit, which downed power and communications lines, and inflicted major damage to buildings in the city. Many roads are blocked either by flooding or fallen debris. Damage was most severe in the delta region, where the effects of extreme winds were compounded by a sizable storm surge. The Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Social Welfare, Relief and Rehabilitation and Information noted in a briefing this evening that up to 10,000 people are expected to be dead, with 3,000 more missing in Ayeyarwady Division alone. State media have reported that in Haing Ky, an island in the delta, 162 were killed and nearly 20,000 houses were destroyed, leaving 92,706 homeless. Several hundred thousand are estimated to be without shelter and safe drinking water.

2. Efforts to carry out a comprehensive assessment continue to be hindered by the lack of communications and blocked roads, however. The Government has announced that military and police units have been deployed as part of rescue and cleanup operations. It has also established an Emergency Committee, headed by the Prime Minister.

3. The number of people in need of assistance is expected to be considerable. The combined total population of the declared disaster areas is around 24 million. Roughly 6 million live in Yangon and a significant population is spread across the delta region. The UNCT still expects that critical needs will be plastic sheeting, water purification tablets, cooking sets, mosquito nets, emergency health kits and food. Fuel shortages have also been reported. The food security situation in the country, which was already severe, is likely to become more acute.

4. The Government indicated in a briefing with UN agencies and the diplomatic community this evening that it is open to international assistance, although it would appear at this stage that the assistance envisaged is primarily bilateral, with assistance going directly to Government relief agencies. The Government itself has pledged approximately USD 5 million for relief.

II. SITUATION IN THAILAND

5. The Government of Thailand has reported that five districts in Tak Province along the Thailand- Myanmar border have encountered severe flooding conditions from continuous heavy rain. More than 100 households have been inundated and over 1,000 people have been left homeless. Damage is also reported to roads in the affected areas.

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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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