Aid agencies begin relief operation in Burma

International aid workers are beginning the difficult task of trying to get emergency supplies to the thousands of people stranded by tropical cyclone Nargis, which killed at least 15,000 people in Burma (Myanmar).

Early on May 3 the cyclone slammed into the low-lying city of Yangon, or Rangoon, which is home to more than five million people, causing severe damage with extensive flooding and roads blocked by falling trees and debris.

Charities have described the devastation as similar to the tsunami that struck Asia in 2004.

Governments and relief agencies around the world have so far promised more than US$10 million worth of aid and technical support. Teams from the UN and Unicef, as well as other aid organisations, are assembling to begin the relief effort. China has so far pledged around $1 million in cash and materials such as tents, blankets and food.

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