Aid is dwindling for victims of the cyclone who remain extremely vulnerable to another catastrophic storm:
It is five months since Cyclone Nargis tore across the Irrawaddy delta and the city of Rangoon. On the face of it, the catastrophe has been brought under control. After early obstruction by Burma’s military Government, a large international aid effort has relieved the worst effects of the disaster and begun the job of rebuilding.
Food, medicines and shelter are flowing into the delta, with no secondary disaster from hunger or disease, as many had feared.
Outside Burma, the catastrophe is a fading memory; after a surge of donations in the early weeks, new funds for aid groups have dwindled to a trickle.
But the cyclone is still doing its damage — to livelihoods, education and health, as well as through the terror lingering in the minds of those who survived it. And the people of the Irrawaddy delta are no better placed to resist a future cyclone than they were five months ago.
“These new houses we have made now cannot stand another serious storm,” says a man named Hla Thaing, in Ahgnu. “It would be hell to face it all over again.”
Infrastructure was destroyed, food reserves were decimated, and so the misery from Nargis lingers.