Burma Aid Delays Less Deadly Than Feared

Villagers tough it out through cyclone's aftermath
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2008 5:13 AM CDT
A damaged Buddhist monastery in the township of Dedaye 58 kilometers southwest of Yangon, in the Irrawaddy region of Myanmar Saturday, June 14, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Delays in getting help to cyclone survivors in Burma's Irrawaddy Delta have not caused the catastrophe initially feared, according to aid workers. Hardy villagers have managed to survive on fish and coconuts, helped by aid from private Burmese citizens and monks, reports the New York Times. Expected massive outbreaks of disease have not occurred—but aid workers warn that many are still at risk.

Nearly six weeks after Cyclone Nargis, Burma's junta has finally allowed UN helicopters to deliver assistance to hard-hit areas. The disaster is estimated to have killed up to 130,000 people, but most survivors escaped injury. "We saw very, very few serious injuries,” said the manager of Doctors Without Borders. “You were dead or you were in OK shape.”