Local aid organizations prepared to help victims of Cyclone Nargis - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Local aid organizations prepared to help victims of Cyclone Nargis

May 7, 2008

Albany -- Just days after a tropical cyclone wreaked havoc on the nation of Myanmar, the number of reported casualties continues to climb.

With the government reporting more than 22,000 dead and over 40,000 still unaccounted for, Cyclone Nargis, which touched down May 3, left an estimated 1 million people homeless and a country in need of aid.

Christian relief organization World Vision has an office based in the city of Yangon. Tuesday, we spoke with an official about the devastation witnessed by aid workers on the ground.

"People that I've spoken with there say they've never seen anything like it. Everywhere you look it's complete and utter devastation. The entire city of Yangon is sitting in darkness. There's no power, no running water, no electricity. One of the biggest challenges really I just communicating with each other. Our staff went out to try and assess the damage. We have 42,000 sponsored children that we're trying to make sure are safe," said World Vision Media Relations Manager Laura Cusumano Blank.

Tuesday, President Bush offered more aid to the military controlled country, but getting adequate supplies to the storm victims has been a difficult task for international aid agencies. Officials with the American Red Cross say they're ready to send aid when needed.

"Through the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Society, the American Red Cross is in a stand-by position right now. We're waiting, we're monitoring and when they say they need our assistance, we are prepared to provide immediate assistance. Said American Red Cross Southwest Georgia Chapter Director Mari McEwen

With reports of bodies being thrown into rivers, survivors of Nargis are low on food and clean drinking water prompting one diplomatic official to say "the situation is very bad and not getting any better."

World Vision says they hope to raise $3 million through their donation efforts. For more information on where you go can go to donate click on the links below.



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