At least 243 reported dead as cyclone hits Myanmar (Lead)

May 4th, 2008 - 9:26 pm ICT by admin  

DPA
Yangon, May 4 (DPA) A powerful cyclone hit Myanmar, killing at least 243 people and destroying thousands of buildings, state television reported Sunday. Television pictures from the port city of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, showed numerous trees uprooted and houses without roofs.

Tropical cyclone Nargis hit the south of the country Saturday with wind speeds of more than 200 km per hour.

Electricity and telephone lines were snapped in the storm, which started in the Bay of Bengal, making communication with the former capital Yangon difficult.

Worst-hit were parts of the Irrawaddy region, which was reported to have been declared a disaster zone along with Ynagon, Bago, Karen and Mon regions.

More than 20,000 houses were believed to have been blown down in the Irrawaddy Delta region.

The military rulers were reported to have ordered in troops to help rescue operations and clear up the chaos left by the lashing winds.

The cyclone was said to be weakening as it moved towards Thailand.
DPA

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