Myanmar Raises Cyclone Death Toll as First U.S. Relief Arrives

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Yangon, Myanmar (AP) Myanmar is raising the official death toll from a powerful cyclone to nearly 32,000.

Nearly 30,000 more people remain missing. The U.N. and others have said the toll could go much higher.

The first U.S. relief shipment arrived in the country today. A U.S. military c-130 cargo plane delivered 14 tons of supplies, after prolonged negotiations to persuade Myanmar's military government to accept it.

Several Myanmar Cabinet Ministers greeted the plane and the aid was transferred to army trucks. A government spokesman says military helicopters will ferry it to the worst-hit areas in the Irrawaddy delta. Two more U.S. shipments are scheduled to land tomorrow.

The White House is calling it “just the beginning.” Press secretary Dana Perino says “we hope it gets to the people as quickly as possible.”

Myanmar continues to draw heavy criticism for barring foreign disaster experts from the country. Up to two million cyclone victims are facing disease and starvation.


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