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Deadly Cyclone "Nargis" in Burma

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Deadly Cyclone "Nargis" in Burma

Over 22,000 people are estimated dead after the cyclone in Burma last weekend. The cyclone hit the rice-growing Irrawaddy Delta region and the nation's largest city, Rangoon .

The United Nations World Food Program estimates that one million people lost their homes, including entire villages that were wiped out.

The Burmese ruling junta was slow to admit foreign aid workers to the country, but some were allowed to deliver supplies yesterday. However, the Burmese government is slowing the process by refusing to waive visa requirements for aid workers.

The cyclone came a week before a scheduled referendum on Burma 's new constitution. Despite the disaster, the government plans on executing the vote as scheduled in most parts of the country.

Edith Mirante is the Director of Project Maje, an information center on Burma . She's the author of author of Down the Rat Hole: Adventures Underground on Burma's Frontiers.

Edith witnessed a cyclone in another Southeast Asian country. She was in Bangladesh during their 1991 cyclone. That disaster claimed the lives of over 139,000 people. Edith told me about that experience…

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