NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Southern Baptists are moving to respond in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, which struck Myanmar, a country in Southeast Asia also known as Burma, early May 3. The latest death toll stands at 22,000, with another 41,000 missing.
Nearly half the country's population, some 24 million people, have been affected by the storm, which knocked out electricity in Yangon, the country's largest city, and left up to 1 million people homeless. The United Nation's World Food Program said some villages have been virtually wiped out and vast rice-growing areas destroyed from the cyclone's winds of up to 120 mph.
Relief organizations are concerned about outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and illnesses such as diarrhea that often occur in the wake of natural disasters because of dirty water and poor sanitation.
Baptist Global Response, a Southern Baptist international relief and development organization, is working with its local partners in Myanmar to get an on-ground assessment of the situation, but the massive disruption of communications and travel ports is making that difficult, said Jeff Palmer, executive director of Baptist Global Response. Stringent rules placed upon foreigners by the military government also complicate matters. Read More