UNICEF correspondent Chris Niles reports on the struggles of the survivors of Cyclone Nargis.
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Surviving the Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar
Chris Niles: You’ll watching UNICEF television. As the survivors of Cyclone Nargis gather in temporary accommodation, they begin to assess what they have lost. The high winds of the cyclone which swept over the low lying Irriwady Delta were followed by a devastating wall of water.
Daw Ayethet Mon: [Foreign Language]
(Translation) Many people were killed even in my village alone -- more than 50 people died due to the cyclone and the flood. The survivors are running here and there. I held on to the pillows of my home, otherwise I would have as well.
Chris Niles: The storm wiped out the entire towns created extensive damaged to the infrastructure of the region, hundred of families apart.
Ma Su Su: [Foreign Language]
(Translation) I lost my husband and my daughter on the light of millisecond although the family tried to escape from the flood, we fell into the water and my husband was hit by something hard and died while he was trying to save our one-year-old child. It was her birthday.
Chris Niles: Even for the families who survived intact, the experience was one they will not easily forget.
Daw Than Than: [Foreign Language]
(Translation) I’ve never had such an experience. I have no idea what was happening. When the water came into my house, my grandchildren dragged me and we ran. We walk through the water and strong wind. It was dark and we were lost but we kept going. I was scared. We were scared. We arrived at this place, the Pagoda compound at five in the morning.
Chris Niles: Pyapon was one of the many towns where the only building sturdy enough to survive the force of the cyclone was the temple. Buddhist priests offered immediate help and continue to share their few resources.
Venerable A. Shin Nandamarlar:
I get food in the shelter, although there is not enough for our people, we share what we have. At first there are about 3,500 people and later someone backed to our village and search of their separated families. So now there are only 3,000 at my monastery. Someone may come back at night for shelter.
Chris Niles: International relief supplies are coming into Myanmar and are being delivered to the hundreds of thousands of people who are in dire need of the basics of survival -- food, shelter, medicine and fresh water. UNICEF is working with its local partners to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children and families.
This is Chris Niles reporting for UNICEF television. Unite for Children.