Burma, 84,500 reported dead: aid and the online community
jessica.lam | June 24, 2008 at 10:22 amby
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Burmese officials released new numbers Tuesday that increased the death toll from last month's devastating cyclone to 84,500, in addition to almost 54,000 still missing.
Cyclone Nargis lashed Burma, also known as Myanmar, on May 2 and 3, cutting large swaths in the Irrawaddy River Delta and the area around Rangoon, the country's largest city.
The latest figures raise the official death toll by 6,800 from 77,700.
Aid agencies are still struggling to help an estimated 2.4 million people affected by the vicious storm, the worst in the country's recent history.
Foreign workers were initially barred from the delta region by the isolationist military regime. Citing lack of access and difficulty travelling to many remote areas, foreign officials have yet to produce their own estimates of the dead and missing.
Earlier estimates by foreign officials suggested the death toll could surge past 100,000
A gift of small gestures and great achievements - blogger awollam makes the Burma disaster a part of their backyard.
It's an uncertain future and what looks to be a grim prospect for Burma. What
Today, I started the process of baking in preparation for the bake sale on Tuesday. The bake sale idea to help the cyclone victims in Burma was dreamed up by a Burmese friend, but I never really took her idea up until I saw the huge success of a bake sale last week organized by the Chinese workers in the building. Their sale proceeds went towards a local Chinese organization which was collecting money for the earthquake victims. After their successful sale, I told my friend we'd better follow in their footsteps and get all money we could get for the two million cyclone-affected people in Burma. She secured a tray of sushi (200 pieces) from a Burmese friend who sells sushi. Not only that she will learn from her and add in another 600 pieces of sushi (shrimp rolls and California rolls). I am going to be doing a lot of baking such as brownies, cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. Another Burmese co-worker will contribute mango pudding for the bake sale. Armed with the list of things we could possibly sell, we started to feel like we could pull it off.
Bloggers may find their messages blocked by Myanmar’s military regime, but that hasn’t stopped Nyi Lynn Seck from raising tens of thousands of dollars for cyclone survivors through his website.
Now, the 29-year-old IT specialist and his friends are getting their hands dirty and putting the donations to work by helping to build “Budget Huts” in the Irrawaddy delta, a region still reeling from the May 2-3 killer storm.
Days after Cyclone Nargis hit, the Yangon resident traveled to the delta to document the survivors’ stories. He posted their accounts and his photographs on his Web journal.
“I have been blogging for quite a long time and many overseas Myanmar citizens read it. They wanted me to go to the delta and help out,” he said.
Nyi Lynn Seck quit his job as a manager at a software solutions company to lead six volunteers, including four other bloggers, on a mission to aid villages around Labutta. They have been here since May 9.
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