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Cablegate: Burma: Cyclone Nargis Sitrep No. 16

VZCZCXRO4641
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH RUEHTRO
DE RUEHGO #0422/01 1490652
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280652Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY RANGOON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7676
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1232
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 4776
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8320
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 5882
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 3766
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1681
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 RANGOON 000422

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

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. 16

REF: RANGOON 413 AND PREVIOUS

SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) EMBASSY OPERATIONS: Embassy Rangoon operated on
city power and had full diesel fuel tanks. Most Embassy
residences have returned to city power, and Management is now
focusing on clearing debris away from properties. No
criminal incidents involving American staff were reported.

2. (SBU) U.S. RELIEF FLIGHTS: Five C-130 relief flights
were cleared and scheduled to arrive in Rangoon on May 28.
Three of them have been consigned to NGOs. We have received
clearances for an additional five flights on May 29.

3. (SBU) SITUATION ON THE GROUND: The GOB has allowed some
UN and NGO workers into remote areas of the delta. The
Government newspaper New Light of Myanmar announced on May 28
that all donors individually or in groups may make donations
and travel to storm-hit areas of their choice. OFDA/DART
Team Leader Bill Berger continued to explore ways to supply
aid to the delta, particularly in the shelter, family, and
water and sanitation areas. USAID Dr. John MacArthur arrived
on May 27 to assist in the health sector.

4. (SBU) NOTE: Since relief efforts have become
increasingly routine, Embassy has returned to normal
operations, and the Department's virtual task force has been
disbanded, we will discontinue these daily updates. This
will enable us to address specific Cyclone Nargis issues as
they arise in more detail. End note.

EMBASSY OPERATIONS
------------------

5. (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.
Management is focusing on clearing debris away from Embassy
properties.

6. (SBU) CONSULAR: Consular continued to operate normally.

7. (SBU) AUTHORIZED DEPARTURE: No new EFMs have requested
to depart on authorized departure since May 24.

8. (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.

9. (SBU) WATER: The Embassy continued to have adequate water
supplies and purification capacity on hand.

10. (SBU) SECURITY: No criminal incidents involving
American staff were reported. Security around Rangoon
remains heightened, particularly around bridges and roads
leading to the delta region.

U.S. RELIEF FLIGHTS
-------------------

11. (SBU) Five C-130 relief flights were cleared and
scheduled to arrive in Rangoon on May 28. Three of them
carry consignment shipments for NGOs. We received clearances
for five flights on May 29. Nine of the ten flights expected
for May 29 and 30 are consigned to NGOs.

SITUATION ON THE GROUND
-----------------------

12. (SBU) CONDITIONS, CASUALTIES AND DAMAGE: On May 28, the
GOB newspaper New Light of Myanmar announced that donors,
individually or in groups, may make donations and travel to
the storm-hit areas of their choice. The GOB cautioned

RANGOON 00000422 002 OF 002


"wellwishers" to remain systematic in their aid efforts.
Some UN and NGO workers were allowed into remote areas of the
delta on May 27. The UN will brief donors this afternoon on
access and coordination.

13. (SBU) RECOVERY AND RELIEF: OFDA/DART Team Leader Bill
Berger met with the shelter, family, and water and sanitation
aid clusters on May 27. Of concern in addressing the health
needs in the delta region is that there is no cold chain
through which to store and transport medications that require
refrigeration into the affected area. USAID Dr. John
MacArthur has arrived to enable us to follow issues in the
health sector more closely.

14. (SBU) FUEL: Fuel prices in Rangoon nearly returned to
pre-cyclone levels.

15. (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.

16. (SBU) ELECTRICITY: The GOB continued to restore power
to select parts of Rangoon.

17. (SBU) LAW AND ORDER: We received no reports of looting
or public disturbances in or around Rangoon.

18. (SBU) NOTE: Since relief efforts have become
increasingly routine, the Embassy has returned to normal
operations, and the Department's virtual task force has been
disbanded, we will discontinue these daily updates. This
will enable us to address specific Cyclone Nargis issues as
they arise in more detail. End note.
VILLAROSA

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