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Feature: Daily life partly resumes in cyclone-hit Myanmar former capital
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08:30, May 05, 2008

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A minor part of the daily life started to resume in Myanmar's former capital of Yangon Sunday, the first day in the aftermath of the deadly cyclone Nargis strike the country for 10 hours from Saturday night to Saturday noon.

Yangon residents began to move about mostly on foot as few number of public buses could run as such huge vehicles find impossible to fight their ways through roads densely blocked by the Nargis-triggered fallen trees and its long and thick branches.

Only a number of small vehicles were seen picking up passengers who are worried and eager to travel and meet their relatives and friends probably in trouble and need help if victimized.

Passengers traveling by road were stranded at bus terminals, even finding difficult to get a taxi as an alternative way, the fare of which became doubled, passengers said.

Other passengers traveling by the waterway were also seen stranded at river port jetties as passenger vessels are suspended for the moment due to the reason that some Yangon port terminals got destroyed by the cyclone with some five vessels being reportedly capsized and the casualties are still unknown.

A small number of private shops rather than big shopping centers have opened for business mostly with food shops congested with customers seeking to buy at least bread, milk, rice, meat and vegetable.

As electric poles and cable wires as well as telephone wires fell down and got disconnected due to the cyclone, power and communications failure maddened the public. The telephone link was so destroyed to a degree that mobile connection is hardly accessible.

Especially that the power failure has brought the city into darkness as sun sets except some particular buildings and some affordable people have power sources operated from big and small generators.

The night time of Yangon was spent with silence with few people going out on streets except some with torch lights on urgent case. Meanwhile, there saw some number of police vehicles patrolling around the city for security purpose.

Besides, people were seen queuing for getting water partly available from some underground water pipes.

Moreover, Yangon residents are mostly organizing themselves under voluntary basis to chop fallen trees and branches blocking roads to clear way for traffic and lift trees pressing on buildings. Individual people are also doing the same with their residential compounds where trees fell lying.

Some police members were also seen moving away the blockade in some areas like that near the City hall and the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Still some people were busy repairing their roofs blown off by the storm wind.

Conclusively, electricity, water supply and communication links are pressing need after the disaster.

Meanwhile, Myanmar government has declared five divisions and states -- Yangon, Bago, Ayeyawaddy, Kayin and Mon -- hit by current cyclone storm, as natural-disaster-hit regions.

The government said some parts of the country like areas in coastal regions of southwestern Ayeyawaddy division -- Haing Gyi Island, Pathein, Myaungmya, Laputta, Mawlamyinegyun, Kyaiklat, Phyarpon, Bogalay -- also met with serious damage but the details are still not available including the casualty figures which are not yet confirmed by the authorities.

The terrible cyclone Nargis, which occurred over the Bay of Bengal and stroke Yangon at a wind speed of about 192 kilometers per hour with a diameter of 240 km, has almost totally devastated the former capital.

Observers here commented that the loss due to the disaster is inestimable.


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