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10,000 reported dead in Bogalay township

May 6, 2008 (DVB)-As the scale of the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis in Burma becomes clearer, government figures say that 10,000 people were killed in Bogalay township alone.

The Burmese military regime has estimated the overall death toll to be more than 15,000, though this figure is being constantly revised as new information becomes available.

U Myint Aye of the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters network said his sources in Bogalay had confirmed the extent of the devastation in the Irrawaddy town.

He told DVB the cyclone had begun to hit the town at around 5.30pm on 2 May, and was at its strongest between 8.30pm until 4am on 3 May.

"Houses in wards 2, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the Bogalay town were completely destroyed by the wind," Myint Aye said.

"Strong buildings in ward 1, 3 and 5 had their roofs ripped off by the cyclone while the small houses collapsed."

Myint Aye said all the villages around Bogalay were now under water, leaving many people stranded.

"On 4 April, I was informed by a resident of Mondine Gyi village, located south of Bogalay town, that all the houses there were under water and people were forced to stay on top of their roofs," he said.

"He said some people even died after falling of their roofs due to the strong tide."

Myint Aye also criticised the lack of government response to the crisis.

"Authorities have so far provided no assistance to the villagers and they have no food, no shelter and no clean water," he said.

"Monasteries have also had their roofs blown off and so have been unable to provide shelter to the victims."

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw


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