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An unexpected, devastating storm

Cyclone Nargis approaches Myanmar in this satellite image from NASA's Terra satellite taken May 1 and released May 6, 2008.

Cyclone Nargis is far and away the worst natural disaster to strike the southeast Asian nation of Myanmar in recent history.

The violent and largely unexpected storm has devastated the country's Irrawady, Yangon and Bago districts. Its impact was less severe further inland, but still significant, in Mon and Kayin divisions/states.

The combined total population of the declared disaster areas is around 24 million people.

Early estimates indicate that more than a million people may be affected and hundreds of thousands are displaced. The cyclone tore down trees, power cables, houses and caused significant damage to buildings and structures. The Irrawaddy Delta is the worst hit with approximately 75 to 95 percent of the population affected.

The government of Myanmar has declared a state of emergency. There is no electricity and the supply of domestic and potable water is a major difficulty.


Myanmar - the big picture 





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