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May 5, 2008 (AFP)-More than 10,000 people have been killed in a tropical cyclone that struck Burma at the weekend, foreign minister Nyan Win told state television, adding that his nation would welcome international aid.
"According to the latest information, more than 10,000 people were killed," Nyan Win said, after briefing foreign diplomats.
"Information is still being collected, and there could be more casualties," he added.
Nyan Win also welcomed Thailand’s promise to send emergency food and medicine, saying Burma would welcome international aid from other countries.
"We will welcome help like this from other countries, because our people are in difficulty," he said.
He said 57 ships had sunk in the Irrawaddy River, adding that smaller boats had also been destroyed.
State television showed images of entire communities that had flooded since Tropical Cyclone Nargis struck late Friday. Earlier, state media said tens of thousands of people may have been killed in the township of Bogalay alone.
The United Nations said hundreds of thousands of people had been left homeless when the storm, packing winds of 190 kilometres (120 miles) per hour, ripped through the countryside, destroying entire villages in its fury.
Thousands of buildings were flattened as the furious cyclone also ripped power lines to shreds, uprooted trees that blocked key roads and disrupted water supplies in the main city and former capital, Rangoon.