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World News

SNAPSHOT-Latest developments after Myanmar cyclone

(Reuters) - Here are the latest developments following Saturday’s devastating Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar:

HEADLINES

- 22,464 dead; 41,000 missing

- Most people killed in tidal wave produced by cyclone, says Minister for Relief and Resettlement Maung Maung Swe.

- U.S. President George W. Bush urges military junta to accept U.S. disaster response teams, adding the United States stood ready to “do a lot more” to help.

- Government says 5 billion kyats (2.8 million pounds) set aside in disaster aid. The number of people left homeless by the 190 km per hour winds and storm surge is in the several hundred thousands, United Nations aid officials say.

- Foreign governments and relief agencies promise more than $10 million worth of aid and technical support.

- May 10 constitutional referendum postponed to May 24 in worst-affected areas of Yangon and sprawling Irrawaddy delta. The vote on charter, part of the army’s much criticised “roadmap to democracy”, to proceed as planned elsewhere on May 10.

QUOTES

“The wave was up to 12 feet (3.5 metres) high and it swept away and inundated half the houses in low-lying villages. They did not have anywhere to flee.” - Minister for Relief and Resettlement Maung Maung Swe.

“Our message is to the military rulers: ‘Let the United States come and help you, help the people’.” - U.S. President George W. Bush.

“We’re prepared to move U.S. naval assets to help find those who lost their lives, to help find the missing, to help stabilize the situation,” Bush said.

“The task is very wide and extensive and the government needs the cooperation of the people and well-wishers from at home and abroad. We will not hide anything. Please ask the people not to be duped by rumours or fabrication.” - Information Minister Kyaw Hsan.

“The myth they have projected about being well-prepared has been totally blown away,” - political analyst Aung Naing Oo, who fled to Thailand after a brutally crushed 1988 uprising. “This could have a tremendous political impact in the long term.”

“This is massive. It is not necessarily quite tsunami level, but in terms of impact of millions displaced, thousands dead, it is just terrible,” - World Vision Australia head Tim Costello, head of aid agency World Vision Australia head.

“The regime has lost a golden opportunity to send the soldiers as soon as the storm stopped to win the heart and soul of people.” - a retired civil servant in Yangon.

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