May 09, 2008

Thoughts on Myanmar

Burma Copes With Aftermath Of Catatrophic Typhoon
Image details: Burma Copes With Aftermath Of Catatrophic Typhoon served by

The cyclone Nargis was deadly as predicted and it caught Myanmar of guard. The figures we read everyday never seem to stop depressing you, from 22,000 to 100,000 - now 600,000).

Cyclone Nargis is a Category 3 storm packed winds of 190 km (120 mile) per hour. However BBC quoted a wrong info that It was the world’s deadliest storm in ten years. Only last November (2007) The hurricane Sidr made a downfall in Southern Bangladesh - it was a Category-4 equivalent tropical cyclone with 215 km/h wind speed and water surge of Tidal waves reaching up to a height of 3 metres (9.8 ft) were reported.

The cyclone Pundit Chris Mooney has details on why Nargis was so catastrophic:
"It had been a fairly weak storm, and then it just started exploding even as it headed toward the coastline. So people didn't even know there was a bad storm coming until maybe just 24 or 48 hours out. And it kept getting worse and worse and worse, and then it hit a vulnerable place."

(Image courtesy: The Intersection)

It may be noted that Bangladesh did prepare a lot for SIDR. A total of 2 million people in Bangladesh evacuated to emergency shelters. Otherwise the death toll would be catastrophic. Most of those who were dead defied the warnings and stayed home. The after cyclone relief and rescue operations were also swift. Over 40,000 Red Cross volunteers were deployed to order residents in the 15 affected provinces into special cyclone and flood shelters. In contrast to the Burmese situation, The Bangladeshi military forces played a significant role in providing helicopters and boats to reach to remote locations and of course helping in relief and rescue.

What did the Burmese Government do to protect its people? Eyewitnesses say that even no forces were seen to help cleanup the debris in the capital. And now slow relief work is not making the situation better for the victims.

This is the real tragedy of people when its ruler are so alienated from the people and are only concerned about their powers. God save the people of Myanmar.

Check Burma Cyclone for information, commentaries, links for donations etc.


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