Cyclone turns Myanmar city into "war zone"

Myanmar's military government declared disaster areas in five states on Sunday after a Category 3 cyclone tore through the Irrawaddy delta region, killing at least four people in Yangon, state newspapers said.

Packing winds of 190 km (120 miles) per hour when it hit on Saturday morning, Cyclone Nargis devastated the former Burma's leafy main city, littering the streets with debris from fallen trees and battered buildings.

"Utter war zone," one Yangon-based diplomat said in an email to Reuters in Bangkok. "Trees across all streets. Utility poles down. Hospitals devastated. Clean water scarce."

Many roofs were ripped off even sturdy buildings, suggesting damage would be severe in the shanty towns that sit on the outskirts of the sprawling river-delta city of 5 million people.

"I have never seen anything like it," one retired government worker told Reuters. "It reminded me of when Hurricane Katrina hit the United States."

Although the sun was shining by Sunday morning, the former capital was without power and water.

An Electricity Board official said it was impossible to know when services -- hit-and-miss at the best of times in one of Asia's poorest countries -- would be restored.

"It is very hard to say when we can resume supply. We still have to clear the mess," the official, who did not want to be named, said.

United Nations disaster experts said it would be days before the extent of the damage was known in a country ruled since 1962 by secretive and ruthless military regimes.

Bunkered down in Naypyidaw, a new capital 240 miles to the north of Yangon, the ruling generals will almost certainly have avoided the worst of the storm.

"There does not seem to be a high number of casualties but for sure there is a lot of damage to property and infrastructure," Therje Skavdal, regional head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), said.

"It's early and it will take a few days before we get an overview of the damage," he told Reuters in Bangkok.

Another United Nations official said a formal offer of assistance had been made although the junta was yet to respond.

DEATH TOLL SEEN RISING

Outside Yangon, the damage appears to have been severe.

More than half of buildings had been damaged or collapsed in some towns in the Irrawaddy delta, where the massive cyclone landed on Friday night having gathered steam in the tropical waters of the Bay of Bengal, official newspapers said.

The death toll -- so far just four people in Yangon -- is expected to climb as authorities slowly make contact with outlying towns and villages along the coast, where weather forecasters had predicted a storm surge of up to 12 feet (3.5 m).

Official media said four vessels sank in Yangon harbour.

It remains to be seen what impact the storm will have on a referendum on an army-drafted constitution scheduled for May 10.

The charter is part of a "roadmap to democracy" meant to culminate in multiparty elections in 2010 and end nearly five decades of military rule. Critics say it gives the army too much control.

An official at Yangon International Airport said all incoming flights had been diverted to the second city of Mandalay, in the middle of the southeast Asian nation, and all departures from Yangon had been cancelled.

Thai Airways in Bangkok said flights would not resume before Monday.

Nargis is now moving northeast into northern Thailand, where it has already caused heavy rain and triggered storm warnings, Reuters reported.

EIB supports construction of Innovation Center in Georgia
EIB supports construction of Innovation Center in Georgia
Balkan Department of Turkmenistan’s Construction Ministry exceeds production plan
Balkan Department of Turkmenistan’s Construction Ministry exceeds production plan
Turkmenistan, Japan discuss prospects for co-op in construction sector
Turkmenistan, Japan discuss prospects for co-op in construction sector
Loading Bars
Latest
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale October 21
Azerbaijan's Goranboy, Tartar subjected to artillery, missile fire from Armenia
Most of IUCN Red List flora, fauna species on Azerbaijan's occupied lands destroyed
Azerbaijani ministry predicts growth of electricity production by 2025
Azerbaijan reveals data on foreign trade turnover for 9M2020
Uzbekistan's official reserve assets decrease
Georgians arriving home with negative PCR tests not to be placed under mandatory quarantine
Georgia returns to third place in international hazelnut market
Preventive diplomacy is an integral part of Turkmenistan's neutrality - President of Turkmenistan
Islamophobia, Turkophobia – Armenia’s main disease, says Turkish presidential administration
Kazakhstan’s pharma company to build nonwoven fabric plant
Number of restored mines in Iran revealed
Kazakhstan's medical goods producing capacities to be increased before year-end
Turkmenistan significantly increases exports of cement products to Kazakhstan
Italy slows down on import of Turkish furniture
Turkmenistan's Turkmennebit opens tender for purchase of equipment
Azerbaijan confirms 128 more COVID-19 recoveries
Whole world should see Armenia targeting Azerbaijan's civilians - Speaker of Grand National Assembly of Turkey
Uzbekistan to attract carbon credits to create forest plantations
Kazakhstan's imports of furniture, wood from Turkey up within 9M2020
Baku Stock Exchange places Azerbaijan's Finance Ministry state bonds at auction
Iran's Central Bank increases working hours for legal exchange offices as foreign currency rate drops
Mehriban Aliyeva congratulated Azerbaijani people on liberation of several villages of Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Khojavand, Zangilan districts and the city of Zangilan
Israeli markets' demand for Turkish furniture rises
Review of Georgian exports to China
Iran`s President reacts to restriction of essential goods and medicine`s supply
Coronavirus spread reaches alarming state in some Iranian provinces
Kazakhstan's gov't decides on power plants' modernization methods in Almaty
Iranian Covid-19 vaccine to enter the human testing phase by early December
The dilemma of pricing of steel products in Iran stock exchange
Azerbaijani state service to put up state properties for auction
Bahar Azadi gold coin price still falling in Iran
Azerbaijan increases value of electricity production
Georgian Chestnuts Export plans to open production of chestnut flour
Iran car makers to offer 153,000 cars by the end of current Iranian year
Gasoline and methanol account for main part of Iran’s total export
2 civilians killed during shelling of Azerbaijan’s Tartar by Armenian armed forces
Azerbaijani FM meets with speaker of Turkish Grand National Assembly (PHOTO)
Iran to reinstated several mines
Iran's import of Turkish furniture down significantly
Iran to provide free electricity to low consumption users in Tehran
Kazakhstan, Norway trade turnover increases despite COVID-19
EPR approves creation of Human Security Trust Fund for Aral Sea region in Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity to be fully restored soon: Leader of Russian party
Azerbaijani banks foreign currency demand disclosed
Oil bitumen imports decline in Georgia
Russian research institute names necessary measures to mitigate pandemic impact on Turkmenistan
Kazakhstan’s KazMunayGas to create system for managing field development process
Iran, Syria are expected to barter trade
Azerbaijani president renames liberated village of Khojavand district
Azerbaijani Express Bank's assets decrease
Armenian Defense Ministry once again admits retreat
Azerbaijani flag in Zangilan city (VIDEO)
Turkish wood, furniture exports to Georgia down - Trade Ministry
Turkey's export of wood, furniture to Iraq declines
Azerbaijani minister talks benefits of hydrowater plants on border with Iran
Armenia's current leadership unable to solve real problems well - Russian political strategist
Azerbaijani president: Zangilan city and 6 villages of district, 18 villages of Fuzuli, Jabrayil and Khojavand districts liberated
Locally-made furniture exports to France increase, says Turkish Trade Ministry
Over 170 mb of ACG oil loaded from Ceyhan terminal
Regular direct flights by several airlines resume in Georgia
Imports of Turkish furniture by Morocco drops marginally
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for October 20
Speaker of Turkish Grand National Assembly visits Azerbaijan’s Ganja (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Georgia to export fresh pinecones to EU market
Azerbaijan increases export of petrochemicals
EIB supports construction of Innovation Center in Georgia
President Ilham Aliyev addresses the nation (PHOTO)
Missile attacks on cities, its residents, civil objects inhuman - Kazakh ambassador in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani servicemen contributing to victories of country's army (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani methanol plant unveils export indicators for 9M2020
Azerbaijani army destroys numerous Armenian servicemen, military equipment (VIDEO)
Review of producer price indices for services in Georgia
Azerbaijan records growth in gas exports
Export of confectionery products increase in Uzbekistan for 9M2020
Russia's leading research institute talks COVID-19 impact on Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan ups import of Turkish wood, furniture
Export of furniture, wood from Turkey to US more than doubles in 9M2020
Turkey's 9M2020 export of wood, furniture to Germany grows
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan down
Enagas reveals investment plans for TAP
Kazakhstan's export to Ukraine down twofold amid COVID-19
Iran reveals amount of investments made on buying agricultural machinery
EU and Uzbekistan eye to expand scope of co-op
Armenia’s demographic challenges: Depopulation & Racist Policy
Turkmengas re-opens tender for maintenance of gas turbine compressors
Value of exports from Uzbekistan down for 92020
Armenia: Acquired investment deficit syndrome
Enagas sees over 4.5% increase in net profit
Terminal on exports of agricultural goods to be built in Iran's Astara County
Russian Gazprombank says Azerbaijani GDP dynamics in line with expectations
Territories of Azerbaijani Terter and Aghdam regions under fire
Armenia's dastardly crimes won’t go unpunished, says speaker of Azerbaijan's Parliament
Azerbaijani FM meets Turkish Parliament's speaker
Azerbaijani FM Bayramov to meet US Secretary of State Pompeo
Azerbaijani oil prices fluctuate
Georgia sees increase in PPI for Industrial Products
Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office gives updates on civil casualties, damages
Chairperson of Azerbaijan's parliament talks Turkish Grand National Assembly's support
Production of vehicles in Azerbaijan continues growth
All news