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US aid still awaiting Myanmar green light

US aid still awaiting Myanmar green light
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Pictures emerging from southern Myanmar, the former Burma, show how much of the region was devastated by the weekend’s devastating cyclone.

It is feared 100,000 people may have died in the Irrawaddy Delta alone, their homes destroyed by the power of the wind and the waves.

The clear-up operation has begun, but the scale of the disaster is overwhelming. Myanmar’s military rulers always boasted they were in control; the cyclone has proved even they need a helping hand.

The former capital Yangon saw much of the damage. But villages and towns in the open countryside suffered much worse, and it is there that the majority of victims will be found.

The number of dead will surely rise as rescue operations get underway; more than a million people are known to be without food or shelter.

Aid is trickling in, mostly from Myanmar’s close Asian neighbours. America, which the generals hold in deep mistrust, thought it had won permission to fly in supplies, but is still awaiting the official green light.

Disease is becoming a major worry; with so many bodies left decomposing in the heat, Myanmar’s tragedy may get even worse.