Disease, Hunger Now Threaten Cyclone Survivors

Tainted water, corpses pose grave danger
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2008 3:45 AM CDT

The Burmese lucky enough to survive a catastrophic cyclone now face the threat of death by disease and hunger. Dirty water and rotting corpses pose a grave danger of cholera and diarrhea, and the devastated infrastructure is making it nearly impossible to deliver food to people who were hungry even before the cyclone hit, Reuters reports. Aid agencies are scrambling to get help to survivors—and to persuade the military junta to grant them increased access.

"Time is of the essence," said a UNICEF official. "In situations such as these, children are highly vulnerable to disease and hunger, and they need immediate help to survive." Aid workers compare the crisis to the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami. "We’re looking at 50,000 dead and millions of homeless," a charity worker told the Times of London. (More Cyclone Nargis stories.)

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