International News Report – May
6, 2008

THE SALVATION ARMY IN MYANMAR (BURMA)

RESPONDS TO CYCLONE NARGIS

The Salvation Army in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is responding to the
devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis, which is thought to have killed more than
100,000 people. Communications to Myanmar have been severely affected but news
has been received that local Salvationists are helping victims in the Yangon
area.

Although occasionally the victim of flooding in the rainy seasons, the
country of Myanmar has not, on the whole, been subject to cyclones. Because of
this, the infrastructure is not in place to deal with such a disaster. News
bulletins are reporting an escalating death toll and many thousands of people
are now homeless as a result of the cyclone and without access to clean
water. 

Despite being subject to the great difficulties and damage to property – the
roof was torn off the Regional Headquarters building – members of The Salvation
Army in Yangon have been providing cooked meals from their own store of food
for those who are desperately in need. Local Salvationists are seeking to
assist as many people as possible although access to many areas is near
impossible. In some places communication networks are completely
unavailable. 

Colonel David Bringans, leader of The Salvation Army in Singapore, Malaysia
and Myanmar, says: ‘Our people in Myanmar are already dispensing rice and other
relief to the people. Both of our two children’s homes in Yangon have artesian
wells and they are running the generators to pump water from these almost
non-stop. The public are therefore able to come to our compounds to receive
clean water at this time.’

There has already been widespread support from many countries in terms of
financial assistance and, as access and communications improve, aid will be
sent direct to those giving assistance. 

A Salvation Army assessment team from the region is en route to the affected
area and will make plans for the most immediate needs to be met. There is no
doubt that this tragedy has caused much suffering and that it will take a long
time for Myanmar and the population to recover from the effects of this
unexpected devastation.

Major Mike Caffull, Field Operations Officer of International Emergency
Services, says: ‘Early indications suggest that Salvationists in Myanmar are
responding magnificently to the disaster that has hit their country, but it is
also clear that there is going to be a great need for substantial financial
support to enable an appropriate response to the damage and suffering that is
already being experienced and which is likely to continue for some
time.’ 

Donations to support the work of The Salvation Army in Myanmar can be mailed
to: The Salvation Army International Disaster Relief Fund, P.O. Box 630728,
Baltimore, MD 21263-0728 or made online at http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/ or
by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

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