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Uncertainty over aid as US planes land in Myanmar

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Uncertainty over aid as US planes land in Myanmar


The US expects to send two more aid flights to Myanmar tomorrow after a first planeload arrived in the cyclone-hit country today.

The White House said decisions on further shipments would be taken on a day-by-day basis from then, after describing Myanmar as an “outpost of tyranny”.

Much may depend on how the aid is being distributed to the roughly 1.5 million survivors of the disaster. Up to now the country’s military rulers have refused to allow in foreign experts to oversee the relief effort.

State TV now says almost 32,000 people died in the storm that ravaged southern and eastern regions. But the UN believes the figure is probably at least three times that. International experts have warned that the slow pace of relief distribution will substantially increase the number of victims.

They have warned the threat of disease and the lack of food and clean water could lead to another catastrophe. Against this background there are reports of civilians in Yangon driving out to the affected regions to help survivors themselves.

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