Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'We Saw Piles of Rotting Bodies'; Laid Waste: A Town in the Irrawaddy River Delta. Most of the Roofs Are Missing, the Palm Trees Buckled and Broken. Save the Children Said It Expected the Death Toll to Climb as High as Ci Ce , Ce Ce Ce Help on the Way: Burmese Soldiers Unload Supplies and Medicines Sent by Thailand

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'We Saw Piles of Rotting Bodies'; Laid Waste: A Town in the Irrawaddy River Delta. Most of the Roofs Are Missing, the Palm Trees Buckled and Broken. Save the Children Said It Expected the Death Toll to Climb as High as Ci Ce , Ce Ce Ce Help on the Way: Burmese Soldiers Unload Supplies and Medicines Sent by Thailand

Article excerpt

Byline: ED HARRIS

AID workers told today of the scale of the devastation wreaked by theBurmese cyclone.

Andrew Kirkwood, the director in Burma for Save the Children, said reliefworkers had seen harrowing scenes in the worst-hit parts of the country.

"One team came across thousands of people killed in one township," he said."There were piles of rotting bodies lying on the ground as the water hadreceded." A UN official declared the devastation to the Irrawaddy delta a"major, major disaster".

Richard Horsey, of the UN office for co-ordination of humanitarian aid, said:"Teams are talking about bodies floating around in the water. Basically theentire lower delta region is under water.

This is a major, major disaster we're dealing with." Entire towns and villageshave been destroyed and vast ricegrowing areas wiped out in the region known asBurma's rice bowl.

More than 22,000 people have been confirmed dead but this figure is expected todouble and could exceed 50,000. At least 41,000 are still missing.

The UN said a further one million had been left homeless.

Survivors face disease and hunger.

Aerial pictures show bodies strewn across the rice fields and mountains ofrubble washed ashore by a 12ft wave caused by Cyclone Nargis.

Aid workers started distributing essential supplies, including waterpurification tablets, mosquito nets, plastic sheeting and basic medicines.

But heavily flooded areas were accessible only by boat, with helicopters unableto deliver relief supplies. Ann

Veneman, executive director of UN children's agency Unicef, said the scale ofthe problem was only starting to become apparent and survivors were now facedwith the added concerns of poor sanitation and a lack of clean water. Shewarned that flooding could lead to outbreaks of malaria and dengue fever, whilewater-borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery were also a threat.

"Time is of the essence," she said. "In situations such as these, children arehighly vulnerable to disease and hunger and they need immediate help tosurvive." Prices of rice, cooking oil, charcoal and bottled water inside Burmarocketed by 50 per cent overnight in the face of acute demand and petrol priceshave doubled. …

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