First, please take a moment to reflect on the cyclone in Burma, which the AP estimates has killed over 14,000 people. The military junta in Burma has been roundly criticized for failing to enact an early warning system that could have saved lives:
The government had apparently taken few efforts to prepare for the storm, which came bearing down on the country from the Bay of Bengal late Friday. Weather warnings broadcast on television would have been largely useless for the worst-hit rural areas where electricity supply is spotty and television a rarity.
“The government misled people,” said Thin Thin, a grocery story owner in Yangon. “They could have warned us about the severity of the coming cyclone so we could be better prepared.”
Some in Yangon complained that the 400,000-strong military was only clearing streets where the ruling elite resided but leaving residents, including Buddhist monks, to cope on their own in most other areas.
The AP reports that the UN and aid organizations are mobilizing supplies, and that the EU has committed $3 million in humanitarian aid, the Chinese government stands ready with $1 million in cash and supplies, and the US is giving an intial $250,000 in aid with more to come if a disaster team is allowed inside the country.
UPDATE The BBC is now reporting that the death toll has reached 22,000:
The death toll from Burma’s devastating cyclone has now risen to more than 22,000, state media say.
Some 41,000 people were also missing, three days after Cyclone Nargis hit the country on Saturday, state radio said.