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Cablegate: Tfxo01: (12/30) Burma Situation Seems Stable...For

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS RANGOON 001649

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV, CA TASK FORCE, OPS CENTER
BANGKOK FOR USAID, FAS
USPACOM FOR FPA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AEMR CASC KFLO PREL PINR PGOV AMGT BM
SUBJECT: TFXO01: (12/30) BURMA SITUATION SEEMS STABLE...FOR
NOW

REF: RANGOON 1643 AND PREVIOUS

1. Summary: All USG personnel in Burma are accounted for and
safe. There have still been no reports of Amcit casualties
or verified cases of missing Americans. There was no new
information on casualties in Burma on December 30th, though a
UN team found little evidence to dispute GOB claims of
December 29th of 51 dead, 45 injured, and 70 missing. The
GOB is still not asking for assistance, but may be willing to
accept it if the situation worsens. End summary.

USG Personnel Safe and Sound

2. All USG personnel at Embassy Rangoon, including local
staff, are accounted for and safe. The Consular Section is
currently working to resolve about 50 American Citizen
welfare and whereabouts inquiries -- many of them quite
general in nature. There have still been no reports of Amcit
casualties or verified cases of missing Americans.

No New Information, But Situation Seems Stable

3. After only two days of minimal coverage, the GOB's
mouthpiece newspaper, "The New Light of Myanmar," has stopped
publishing stories about the impact of the earthquakes and
tsunami in Burma. However, it has expanded its reprinting of

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SIPDIS
wire stories detailing the death and destruction in the
region. The December 30th edition did print a small
notification of an earthquake of 3.0 on the Richter scale,
centered on Rangoon in the early hours of December 29th
(reftel). In the absence of any official update, the GOB
tally remains 51 dead, 45 injured, 70 missing, and 788
homeless.

4. A UNDP team has returned from the Andaman Sea coastal
Irrawaddy River delta, southwest of Rangoon, reporting that
the region was hit by the tsunami, but found no evidence to
contradict the GOB's public assessment of minimal damage and
casualties limited to several dozen killed. Another UN
source told us that his GOB contacts were maintaining their
initial claim of little damage and few casualties from
Tanintharyi Division in the far southeast of the country. A
Rangoon businessman with tourist interests in that area
repeated his earlier assessment that there was no serious
damage to that area due to high waves. However, there was an
unverified rumor that about 100 fishermen were still missing
from that region. We reiterate that the touristed beach
areas on the Bay of Bengal west and northwest of Rangoon
received no damage and travel to those areas is as normal.

GOB Might Accept Aid, But Won't Ask

5. According to the senior UN representative in Rangoon, the
GOB is not asking for any international assistance, but may
be willing to accept it if proffered. He said UN agencies
were proceeding under that assumption and would provide
assistance as necessary when assessments were complete. No
known international organizations have yet been able to see
firsthand the conditions on remote islands of the Irrawaddy
delta or along Burma's southeastern coast. These areas are
not frequented by foreign tourists, however.
MARTINEZ

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