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article imageBodies Of Those Killed By Cyclone Nargis Are Virtually Unidentifiable, Says Red Cross

By Can Tran     Jun 8, 2008 in World
In regards to the humanitarian crisis in Burma, if one thinks that things cannot get any worse, think again. A new startling revelation has been made.
The people of Burma have been forsaken since the country has been struck by Cyclone Nargis. It is believed that between 75,000 and 100,000 have been killed in the devastation by the cyclone. But, millions more are at risk of dying of things that can be avoided.
Millions are at risk of death by hunger and waterborne diseases. There has been much international aid being poured into Burma. But why are the people of Burma become forsaken? It is due to the actions taken by Burma’s junta. The junta continues to do actions that are considered inhumane to the international community.
It has been criticized for the response to the cyclone along with the handling of foreign aid. Many people need the aid; yet, they do not get it. The junta has moved to evict cyclone victims for aid camps and to ship them back to the devastated villages. In short, the junta is forcing them to fend for themselves. Also, it has been reported that the junta is forcing victims to do labor in exchange for food.
Now, the people that were killed may never be identified. It has been one month since the cyclone had struck. After one month, the bodies of those killed have rotted to a point beyond recognition according to the International Red Cross.
Many bodies have ended up far from home due to the cyclone. While there is the task of giving aid to the millions of victims, there is another daunting task of burying those that have been killed. Friends, parents, siblings, children, and other important people possibly killed may never be identified due to the decomposition of their bodies.
The Irrawaddy delta, which is the hardest hit, is littered with bloated corpses. Other bodies were put in mass graves. International aid groups are tasked with providing aid to the victims while burying the bodies of those killed. But, the junta’s unwillingness to cooperate has made things harder than they should be.
Still, the junta has remained defiant and brushed off all criticisms.
Many now are in advanced stages of decay and the information we have been able to gather is that many of the bodies that were effected by tidal surges were stripped of clothing and any identifying items,” said Red Cross’ Burma spokesman Craig Strathern.
So far, there have been no steps taken to identify the bodies. The survivors tried to do the task themselves. But, it became impossible as more and more dead bodies had popped up.
Still, the junta brushed off the complaints. It continues to blame Western countries for spreading rumors around.
But, the international aid workers will have to work faster because monsoon season approaches. When monsoon season approaches, the aid workers and survivors will have their work cut out for them.
More about Red cross, Burma, Cyclone nargis
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