Satellite images show large swathes of Myanmar under water

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YANGON - Large swathes of southwestern Myanmar are under water after a devastating cyclone struck at the weekend, killing at least 15,000 people, satellite images showed.

Tropical cyclone Nargis slammed into Myanmar late Friday, wiping away entire villages in the Irrawaddy delta region and wreaking destruction on a country that is already one of the poorest on the planet.

NASA pictures taken on Monday showed the entire coastal plain under water, with fallow agricultural areas of the delta - the country's main rice-growing region - particularly hard hit by flooding.

The storm hammered the country's former capital, Yangon, over the weekend and left hundreds of thousands homeless across the country.

The images showed the city, which sits on the delta's southeastern edge and has a population of more than six million, surrounded by flooding.

State television has broadcast footage of massive destruction across the Irrawaddy delta, where boats were washed away, houses caved in and massive trees uprooted and tossed into the streets.

The devastated town of Bogalay, where 10,000 people died and 95 percent of homes were destroyed, sits at the heart of the delta, and there are several other large cities in the affected areas.

Bago, 50 miles (80 kilometres) northeast of Yangon, has a population of 220,000 and also appears to have been hit by heavy flooding.

Foreign aid teams have described scenes of horror in the region, with rice fields littered with corpses and desperate survivors without food or shelter four days after the storm struck.

The United Nations has warned that the widespread flooding will pose a "major challenge" to aid organisations desperately struggling to get assistance to those affected.

It believes hundreds of thousands of people have been left homeless in the Yangon region alone, and there are fears of disease spreading in the absence of proper shelter and drinking water.

UN agencies and charities based in Yangon have already begun assessing the damage and moving to provide emergency food, water and medical supplies. - AFP/ir


My condolences to the dead. Singaporeans are blessed with no existence for natural disasters.

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