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Myanmar aid: "a fraction of what's needed"

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Myanmar aid: "a fraction of what's needed"


The first planeload of American aid has flown to Myanmar, the former Burma, with desperately-needed water, mosquito nets and blankets. It is hoped to be the first of many flights to a country which Washington has described as an outpost of tyranny.

The generals ruling Myanmar remain wary of accepting foreign help; local television showed the army delivering its own aid to some of the storm’s survivors. The junta admits thousands died or are still missing after the cyclone, with perhaps two million people forced to flee their homes. But aid agencies fear those numbers could rise dramatically, and say the first supplies are only a fraction of what is needed.

Vast swathes of the south of the country around the Irrawaddy Delta were swamped by the storm surge. Disease is now the main worry. The heat and the lack of clean water have left refugees drinking rain water just to survive. Some people have returned to their smashed homes. But now, forecasters say, more heavy rain is due to hit the area later this week.

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