YANGON, Myanmar, May 16 (UPI) -- The Myanmar government Friday increased its estimate of those killed by Cyclone Nargis to 78,000, approaching the 100,000 suggested by the United Nations.
On Thursday, the official government figure was 43,318 dead, The New York Times reported. State-run broadcasters and newspapers did not say why the estimate jumped so sharply.
The military junta also almost doubled the number of missing to 55,917. The number of injured escalated from 1,403 to 19,359.
The military government of the country formerly known as Burma has kept foreign aid agencies from the areas devastated by the storm, which hit two weeks ago. The worst-affected areas were the capital, Yangon or Rangoon, and the low-lying Irrawaddy Delta.
The International Red Cross estimates that as many as 128,000 people may already have died, a number aid workers say could grow unless food and medical teams are brought in.