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60 dead from quake in Myanmar

AP, 28 December 2004

YANGON - Nearly 60 people were killed as tidal waves struck Myanmar's southern coastal and delta regions and the death toll is expected to increase, according to reports compiled by international aid agencies on Tuesday.

Aid sources, who requested anonymity, said that according to information collected by agency workers at the scene, about 20 people perished in the Tanintharyi Division and 37 were killed in the vast delta of the Ayeyarwaddy River.

The two areas are situated along Myanmar's 2,276 km coastline, sections of which were struck on Sunday by tidal waves from a massive earthquake originating off Indonesia's coast.

About 25,000 people are reported dead around southern Asia and as far away as Somalia on Africa's eastern coast.

Official newspapers, which initially remained silent on causalities and damage, on Tuesday reported that 34 people were killed in Myanmar, 45 injured and 25 were missing while 200 people were made homeless.

The government has said the quake affected several parts of the country, destroying 17 coastal villages and damaging some buildings.

Relief and resettlement was being carried out, it announced without elaboration.

The sources said the death toll would rise. No casualties have yet been reported from such affected areas as Myanmar's western Rakhine coast.

"We haven't received any official request for relief efforts from the government yet, but we will be willing to provide any assistance necessary," said Carol Long, who heads the UN Children's Fund in Myanmar.



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