Burma Cyclone Nargis Appeal


    Cyclone Nargis ripped across Burma's agricultural heartland on Saturday with violent winds that reached speeds of 120mph (193km/h), destroying buildings and fields, toppling trees and washing away roads in the vital rice-growing area of the Irrawaddy delta, and flattening shanty towns and downing power and phone lines in the sprawling port city of Rangoon, Burma's former capital and home to 5 million people.

    The town-by-town list of dead and missing announced today showed 14,859 deaths in the rural and remote Irrawaddy delta, with about two thirds of the fatalities in one town alone - Bogalay, 90km (55 miles) southwest of Rangoon.

    Most apparently died in the 12ft storm surge wave that accompanied the cyclone, it was reported. With corpses still littering the rice fields and desperate survivors without food or clean drinking water, either without shelter at all or crammed into broken buildings.

    UWT fieldworkers have initiated relief efforts for the cyclone victims.