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Cablegate: Burma: Cyclone Nargis Disaster Alert

VZCZCXRO5077
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH RUEHTRO
DE RUEHGO #0310 1260726
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 050726Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY RANGOON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7472
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1114
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 4661
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8202
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 5764
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 3631
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1516
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

UNCLAS RANGOON 000310

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR USAID/OFDA, EAP/MLS, AND S/ES-O-CMS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID BM
SUBJECT: BURMA: CYCLONE NARGIS DISASTER ALERT

1. Cyclone Nargis winds hit Rangoon shortly after 0000 local
time on May 3. The storm picked up intensity around 0200
local time until 0600 when the eye of the storm passed over
Rangoon. From 0700 to 1030 local time, heavy rain added to
the winds. Reports indicate that the storm also severely
affected Irrawaddy Division, Bago Division, Mon State, and
Karen State.

2. According to Embassy Officers, the storm brought down
trees throughout Rangoon and damaged houses, cutting off
communication, electricity and water supplies to much of the
city. Burmese authorities here reported the number of dead
at 351. We do not yet have information on the number of
people injured and displaced.

3. Most Embassy facilities suffered some damage, but only two
homes are uninhabitable. No mission personnel have suffered
injuries as a result of the cyclone. Three quarters of the
FSN staff came to the Embassy today. Most report missing
roofs and lack of water and electricity from their homes.

4. USG assistance will depend on the willingness of Burmese
government authorities to accept it. Shelter, water, roofing
supplies, and fuel to run generators are immediate needs.
Communication and electricity repairs will also be required.
Health conditions can be expected to deteriorate as a result
of water shortages.

5. We will advise when additional information becomes
available.
VILLAROSA

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