The almanac

UPI Almanac for Thursday, May 2, 2013.
By United Press International

Myanmar prisoner release starts

NAYPYITAW, Myanmar, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- The Myanmar government Wednesday released the first of some 6,300 prisoners given amnesty, including political detainees, pro-democracy activists said.

U.N.: Myanmar taking cut of cyclone aid

YANGON, Myanmar, July 25 (UPI) -- U.N. officials say the Myanmar government is using its foreign exchange regulations to take a cut of the aid being sent for Cyclone Nargis victims.

Myanmar blocks telecom relief

YANGON, Myanmar, June 25 (UPI) -- An international aid organization providing telecom support says it has been forced to leave cyclone-ravaged Myanmar.

Cyclone aid organizer arrested in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar, June 7 (UPI) -- A comedian who organized emergency supplies for victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar has been arrested, activists say.

Defector: Myanmar leader ordered massacres

LONDON, June 7 (UPI) -- A Myanmar defector says Than Shwe, leader of the country's military junta, personally ordered the massacre of 81 unarmed civilians in 1998.
Myanmar press criticizes foreign media

Myanmar press criticizes foreign media

YANGON, Myanmar, June 6 (UPI) -- Myanmar's state-run media have accused international media of embellishing reports about the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis to harm the country's image.

Violence in Macedonia tops list

BRUSSELS, June 2 (UPI) -- The surge in violence preceding elections in Macedonia topped the International Crisis Group's monthly analysis on world conflicts.

Teo describes 360 degrees of threats

SINGAPORE, June 2 (UPI) -- Singapore Defense Minister Teo Chee Hean said during the Shangri-La Dialogue that the Asia-Pacific region faces security challenges from all directions.

Gates: Myanmar delay killed thousands

SINGAPORE, May 31 (UPI) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Myanmar officials have obstructed cyclone relief efforts, causing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Aid workers face restrictions in Myanmar

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar, May 29 (UPI) -- Officials in Myanmar have been issuing visas to relief workers, but are not granting workers access to areas hardest hit by Cyclone Nargis this month, groups say.

U.N. says aid to Myanmar reaches 1M people

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 27 (UPI) -- Relief efforts have reached about a million people in Myanmar, about 40 percent of those affected by Cyclone Nargis, the United Nations said Tuesday.

U.N. opens staging area for cyclone aid

BANGKOK, May 24 (UPI) -- The United Nations will operate its ongoing efforts to help the victims of the destructive cyclone in Myanmar through Bangkok, the U.N.'s leader said.

Myanmar leader agrees to allow aid workers

YANGON, Myanmar, May 23 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon prevailed on Myanmar military leader Gen. Than Shwe Friday to let foreign workers in the country for cyclone relief work.
U.N. head arrives in Yangon

U.N. head arrives in Yangon

YANGON, Myanmar, May 22 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Thursday complained to military leaders in cyclone-hit Myanmar that foreign relief workers have been kept out.
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Cyclone Nargis
In this image from NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft, Cyclone Nargis is pictured when it was a Category one hurricane located 370 miles west of Yangon, Myanmar on May 1, 2008. Tropical Cyclone Nargis flooded the region on May 4, 2008. The death toll from the cyclone and its aftermath is feared to hit or exceed 100,000 lives. (UPI Photo/NASA/MODIS Rapid Response Team)

Cyclone Nargis (JTWC designation: 01B, also known as Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Nargis), was a strong tropical cyclone that caused the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of Myanmar. The cyclone made landfall in the country on May 2, 2008, causing catastrophic destruction and at least 138,000 fatalities. The Labutta Township alone was reported to have 80,000 dead, with about 10,000 more deaths in Bogale. There were around 55,000 people missing and many other deaths were found in other towns and areas, although the Burmese government's official death toll may have been underreported, and there have been allegations that they stopped updating the death-toll after 138,000 to minimize political fallout. The feared 'second wave' of fatalities from disease and lack of relief efforts never materialized. Damage was estimated at over US$10 billion, which made it the most damaging cyclone ever recorded in this basin.

Nargis is the deadliest named cyclone in the North Indian Ocean Basin, as well as the second deadliest named cyclone of all time, behind Typhoon Nina of 1975. Including unnamed storms like the 1970 Bhola cyclone, Nargis is the 8th deadliest cyclone of all time, but an uncertainty between the deaths caused by Nargis and those caused by other cyclones (like the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone), could put Nargis as 7th deadliest or higher, because the exact death toll is uncertain. Nargis was the first tropical cyclone to strike the country since Cyclone Mala made landfall in 2006, which was slightly stronger, but had a significantly lower impact. According to various reports, Indian authorities had warned Burma about the danger that Cyclone Nargis posed 48 hours before it hit the country's coast.

Relief efforts were slowed for political reasons as Burma's military rulers initially resisted large-scale international aid. U.S. President George W. Bush said that an angry world should condemn the way Burma's military rulers were handling the aftermath of such a catastrophic cyclone. Burma's military junta finally accepted aid a few days after India's request was accepted. Continued hampering of relief efforts was the fact that only ten days after the cyclone nearby central China was hit by a massive earthquake, known as the Sichuan earthquake which measured 7.9 in magnitude and it alone had taken 87,476 lives, and caused 85 billion dollars in damage (USD), making it the costliest disaster in Chinese history and third costliest disaster ever known. Furthermore, some donated aid items were found to be available in the country's black market, and Myanmar's junta warned on May 15 that legal action would be taken against people who traded or hoarded international aid.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cyclone Nargis."
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