United Nations officials say the number of people in Burma affected by Cyclone Giri appears to be higher than first thought, but that major loss of life has been avoided because of lessons learned during Cyclone Nargis.
The U.N. mission in Burma said Wednesday that 177,000 people in 71 villages are reported to have been affected by Giri, which killed at least 27 people when it struck the western state of Rakhine on Friday, October 21st. It said about 10,000 people have been affected severely.
But the agency said many lives were saved because residents were evacuated from high-risk areas and relief supplies were put in place before the storm. It said several government ministers are still on the ground directing relief efforts.
The U.N. office attributed the state of preparedness to “good lessons” learned from Cyclone Nargis, which killed about 130,000 people when it struck the Irrawaddy delta in 2008.
The government was accused at that time of being slow to deliver aid and obstructing relief workers.