American diplomatic sources in Yangon indicate the Myanmar death total may exceed all previous estimates, and, according to Shari Villarosa of the US Embassy in Burma, “the information we’re receiving indicates that there may well be over 100,000 deaths in the delta area.” Burmese government radio and TV sources suggest the total is closer to 23,000, but this is consistent with the military junta approach which it to underplay the tragedy that has overtaken their nation. UN sources believe that over 1,000,000 people are homeless as a result of the cyclone.
Small amounts of aid are trickling into Burma since outside nations are hampered by a refusal of the Burmese military junta to admit they need assistance or to welcome foreigners into the country. Burmese officials still insist on reviewing visa applications before allowing foreign aid workers to enter although they have allowed four Asian nations to send in personnel.
The tragedy of Burma is twofold: a devastating natural cyclone and a military cyclone which reflects the attitude of thugs and gangsters who control the nation.