Archive for the ‘cyclone’ Category

Myanmar Activists Sorry to Lose Laura Bush

November 2, 2008

First Lady has been a bright light for human rights; especially in Myanmar…

From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON —  Activists opposing the military-run junta will lose a powerful ally in January when first lady Laura Bush moves out of the White House.

Voter dissatisfaction with President George W. Bush’s Republican Party could also cost them Myanmar’s fiercest congressional critic in Mitch McConnell. The Senate’s top Republican is battling to retain his seat in the face of Democrats intent on bolstering their control of Congress with a strong showing in Tuesday’s elections.


US First Lady Laura Bush, seen here October 13, 2008 at the ...
Laura Bush (L) with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
(AFP/File/Mandel Ngan)


Laura Bush and McConnell — who heads the panel responsible for financing international programs — have used their high profiles to draw attention to human rights abuses in Myanmar and the 13-year detention of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. They also have won tough sanctions aimed at isolating Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Activists in the country say her support has been invaluable.

“The world takes an interest in Myanmar’s ethnic issues because of her,” said Han Tha Myint, a spokesman for Myanmar’s opposition National League for Democracy. “It is moral support for us even though we are not clear how much of the support can translate into change.”

Three Buddhist monks pray at a pagoda in Twantay, near the former ...
Three Buddhist monks pray at a pagoda in Twantay, near the former capital of Myanmar, Yangon, on October 19. Six months since Cyclone Nargis lashed the secretive state of Myanmar – killing 138,000 people – the initial despair over the ruling junta’s inaction has been replaced by cautious optimism that more aid is reaching the country’s needy, the UN has said.(AFP/File/Khin Maung Win)

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U.S. Navy brings aid to Bangladesh victims

November 27, 2007

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — U.S. Navy helicopters began delivering emergency supplies Monday to survivors of a deadly cyclone along the southern coast of Bangladesh in a joint relief operation, officials said.

Helicopters from the USS Kearsarge started airlifting 5,000 water containers to remote areas of Dublar Char, Bagherat and Barguna, the worst affected districts in the Nov. 15 cyclone.

More than 3,100 people died in the storm and more than 1,700 were missing. More than 450,000 homes were destroyed.

U.S. troops will also deliver food and other supplies, help set up water purification plants, and provide medical care to victims in the coming days, army officials said.

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Bangladesh: First U.S. Navy Ship Arrives for Relief Mission

November 23, 2007

By FARID HOSSAIN, Associated Press Writer 

DHAKA, Bangladesh – The U.S. Navy was prepared Friday to deliver much-needed food and medical supplies to hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis stricken by Cyclone Sidr, a top U.S. military commander said.

USS Kearsarge LHD-3.jpg

“We are here to help the people in their time of need,” Adm. Timothy Keating, the top U.S. military commander in the Pacific Ocean, told reporters.

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Related (November 24):
U.S. Navy, Marine Corps Provide Assistance in Bangladesh

U.S. Navy, Marines Assisting In Bangladesh

November 22, 2007

Two United States Navy ships are on the way to Bangladesh today to provide relief following the devastating cyclone.

USS Kearsarge and the USS Essex will arrive in waters near the destroyed Bangladesh coastline on Saturday.

Nearly 3,500 marines and more than 30 helicopters to help with relief efforts in Bangladesh.

Two U.S. assessment teams are working with the Bangladesh government to determine the best use of U.S. air and assistance. A C-130 U.S. cargo plane landed Tuesday with the first consignment of relief goods worth 161,000 U.S. dollars.

Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Henrietta Fore announced to reporters Tuesday the extent of the U.S. effort. She also visited areas badly struck by last Thursday’s deadly cyclone Sidr.

After 1991 cyclone that claimed nearly 143,000 people in Bangladesh, the U.S. also sent a huge naval ship with logistic supports for relief and rehabilitation work under the code name “Operation Sea Angel.”

Fore assured long-term assistance for cyclone-hit people in addition to its emergency aid of 2.1 million U.S. dollars.

Fore, who arrived in Bangladesh Tuesday for a 24-hour visit said she saw houses and farms damaged, paddy fields destroyed and people left their farms and walked into towns looking for food. She said two U.S. assessment teams are now working here with the Bangladesh government.

The U.S. has already delivered items include 5,000 blankets, 2,520 hygienic kits, 2,500 jerricans, 300 plastic sheets and energy biscuits.

Sources: Xinhua and AFP

Bangladesh cyclone toll rises to 1,723

November 17, 2007

DHAKA, Bangladesh – The official death toll from a savage cyclone that wreaked havoc on southwest Bangladesh reached 1,723 Saturday — the deadliest storm to hit the country in a decade.

Military helicopters and ships joined rescue and relief operations and aid workers on the ground struggled to reach victims. Tropical Cyclone Sidr tore apart villages, severely disrupted power lines and forced more than a million coastal villagers to evacuate to government shelters.

The latest death figure tallied to 1,723, with 474 deaths reported from worst-hit Barguna district and 385 from neighboring Patuakhali, a military spokesman, Lt. Col. Moyeenullah Chowdhury, told reporters in the capital, Dhaka.