Rain Lashes Cyclone Survivors, UN Lashes Junta

UN chief 'immensely frustrated' by Burmese junta's lack of swift action
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2008 6:47 AM CDT
A Myanmar monk walks past a temple damaged by Cyclone Nargis on the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar, Tuesday May 13, 2008. (AP Photo   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Two more American relief planes were scheduled to take off for Burma today, but the nation's military junta came in for another UN pounding for refusing to allow more desperately needed supplies to cyclone-stricken regions. "We are at a critical point. Unless more aid gets into the country very quickly, we face an outbreak of infectious diseases that could dwarf today's current crisis," said Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

Aid is slowly entering the country but the military junta has insisted on controlling its distribution and many survivors have received no supplies at all. The relief effort to 1.5 million people in the Irrawaddy Delta area is now being further hampered by heavy rains. The cyclone's official death toll is nearly 32,000, but the true number is thought to be far higher.