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Cyclone survivors continue to flock to Maungmya

May 12, 2008 (DVB), Refugees from Cyclone Nargis continue to arrive in Maungmya township, Irrawaddy division, stretching the town’s resources for disaster relief even further, a local resident said.

A resident of Myaungmya described the situation in the town to DVB yesterday.

"I can see many refugees and there are many camps. Our house provided as much medicine and so on as we could, but it was not sufficient. Many people are still streaming in. The number of people who can donate and the number of people in the town is so unbalanced.

"Last night I asked the district authority chairman’s driver how many refugees there are were. He told me that there are 10,000, but I would guess it must be more than that. He told me that materials for support have arrived but he said the people who worked at sea to make a living suffered and are also among the refugees. These people will be questioned and turned back, and only those who are genuine refugees will be given the support. They will be checked. Only when they think that they are true refugees will they be given support, he said.

"In Myaungmya, they hoped to open 10 camps, but now, there are already 29."

DVB: Even in the 10 refugee camps, there are 1,500 more people who arrived by boat. So that is already 15,000 within the past two days. During that time, have there been more arrivals?

"More people arrived, yesterday or the day before, in three army trucks. They don't know where to go. I saw them looking for places in live in town."

DVB: How about their food, particularly as far as health is concerned? When there are more people, toilet facilities will be important to prevent the spread of contagious diseases.

"Yes, we will need that, in my view. There are around 200 people staying in a primary school. The ground floor and first floor are full. Some patients came to the clinic and we are doing our best medically, but there are many types of patients. There are some TB patients. For these people, the prospect for these people is not very good in this situation.

"I heard that film actors are visiting the hospital. They are donating 20,000 [kyat] each."

DVB: I heard that yesterday, Myaungmya was the only town that faced cyclone problems and the referendum on the same day, which is quite special in Burma. Could you describe the scene?

"I dare not talk about this. The situation is as you see it."


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