Cyclone Nargis: Update 2
The following is another email from someone inside Rangoon:
The situation in the delta and coastal regions becomes increasingly dire
everyday. The next week is crucial as people struggle against dehydration,
starvation and disease. Internal migrants have clustered in neighboring
towns and villages both in search of water and to escape the stench of dead
bodies. They have the clothes on their backs but little else. There are
nearly no sanitation facilities to clean wounds from the storm’s damage and
an overwhelming lack of medical supplies. According to the World Health
Organization (WHO) in the Ayeyarwaddy Division alone, 26 makeshift relief
camps have been set up to accommodate over 100,000 refugees. The number of people homeless and vulnerable are estimated to be between 2 to 4 million.
The need for immediate outside assistance is staggering. See their
website for more information.
In contrast, the situation in central Yangon has improved in the six days
since Cyclone Nargis. Internet access and phone lines have returned for
several businesses, hotels and households. The city electricity grid is
working for parts of downtown and north of the city. Fuel prices seem to be
stabilizing. Though on Monday the black market price jumped from $2.50 to $8.50 per gallon, on Thursday it dropped to $7.70 per gallon. Food costs,
however, remain high. An egg that used to cost $0.10 now costs $0.43, and
rice prices have at least doubled. Central Yangon, however, is far better
off than the outskirts of the city (e.g. Dala or Hlaing Thayar) which still
need much assistance.