Cablegate: Burma: Cyclone Nargis Sitrep No. 15
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH RUEHTRO
DE RUEHGO #0413/01 1480644
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270644Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY RANGOON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7659
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1223
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 4767
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8311
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 5873
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 3755
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1666
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 RANGOON 000413
STATE FOR USAID/OFDA, EAP/MLS, S/ES-O-CMS, DS/CC AND
DS/IP/EAP; PACOM FOR LTC JAMIE MCADEN; BANGKOK FOR RSO
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID BM
SUBJECT: BURMA: CYCLONE NARGIS SITREP NO. 15
REF: RANGOON 411 AND PREVIOUS
1. (SBU) EMBASSY OPERATIONS: Embassy Rangoon operated on
city power and had full diesel fuel tanks. Most Embassy
residences have returned to city power. No criminal
incidents involving American staff were reported.
2. (SBU) U.S. RELIEF FLIGHTS: Over the three-day weekend,
five C-130 flights carrying relief supplies arrived each day.
A total of 9 of the flights were consigned to NGOs. Five
C-130 flights were cleared and scheduled to arrive in Rangoon
on May 27. Three of them have been consigned to NGOs. We
have received clearance for five more flights tomorrow, May
28, including two consignment shipments. Clearances for an
additional five flights on May 29 are pending.
3. (SBU) SITUATION ON THE GROUND: DAS Scot Marciel headed
the U.S. delegation at the May 25 UN/ASEAN donors' conference
in Rangoon (septel). UNSYG called on the GOB to be open in
the disaster relief process. The message from the
international community was almost unanimous: the GOB must
give unhindered access to international relief experts and
additional assistance requires comprehensive needs
4. (SBU) STAFFING AND OPERATIONS: Embassy Rangoon operated
on its normal 0800-1630 schedule subject to a liberal leave
policy. Other than those on regularly scheduled leave, a
full complement of local employees reported for work.
5. (SBU) CONSULAR: Consular has continued regular services
since May 21 and received no new welfare and whereabouts
6. (SBU) AUTHORIZED DEPARTURE: Two EFMs departed post on
May 24 to join the 11 already in Bangkok.
7. (SBU) FUEL AND POWER: The Embassy operated on city power
and had full diesel storage tanks. Most residences are
operating on city power as well.
8. (SBU) WATER: The Embassy continued to have adequate water
supplies and purification capacity on hand.
9. (SBU) SECURITY: No criminal incidents involving American
staff were reported.
U.S. RELIEF FLIGHTS
10. (SBU) Over the three-day weekend, five C-130 flights
arrived each day carrying relief supplies. On May 24 and 25
four flights were consigned to NGOs. On May 26, all five
flights were consigned to NGOs. Five C-130 flights were
cleared and scheduled to arrive in Rangoon on May 27. Three
of them carry consignment shipments for NGOs. We have
received clearance for five flights on May 28, including
three consignment flights. Clearances for five flights on
May 29 are still pending.
SITUATION ON THE GROUND
11. (SBU) CONDITIONS, CASUALTIES AND DAMAGE: DAS Scot
Marciel headed the U.S. delegation to the May 25 UN/ASEAN
donors' conference. The GOB promised to allow international
humanitarian workers to visit the cyclone-devastated region.
UNSYG Ban Ki Moon called on the GOB to be more open in the
relief process. 51 countries were represented at the
conference and all echoed his calls. Despite the GOB's
RANGOON 00000413 002 OF 002
request for over $10 billion in relief aid, the only notable
new donations were from China for $10 million and India for
$1.5 million. Other countries said that they would provide
more aid after the UN is able to conduct needs assessments
and when the GOB allows aid workers to conduct their
activities more freely.
12. (SBU) RECOVERY AND RELIEF: One consortium of NGOs
reported that it received photos over the weekend of USAID
boxes being distributed in remote areas of the delta.
Efforts to monitor distribution of relief supplies should
improve if the international relief workers obtain greater
access to the delta.
13. (SBU) FUEL: Fuel prices in Rangoon nearly returned to
14. (SBU) FOOD AND WATER: Food prices in Rangoon continued
to drop, but most were still higher than before the cyclone.
Shortages in the delta continued.
15. (SBU) ELECTRICITY: The GOB continued to restore power
to select parts of Rangoon.
16. (SBU) LAW AND ORDER: We received no reports of looting
or public disturbances in or around Rangoon.