News agencies today are reporting that the death toll from Tropical Cyclone Nargis has climbed above 22,000, up from the already staggering 10,000 cited Monday. Further, another 41,000 people are unaccounted for and hundreds of thousands are without homes or safe drinking water.
Some aid workers fear the death toll could reach 50,000, and the number of people without homes will be in the millions.
The cyclone, a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, was massively damaging by itself, but much of the death and destruction was due to a secondary tidal wave it spawned, according to some accounts. The cyclone made landfall in the Irrawaddy River Delta region, and then lost some strength before striking the nation's largest city, Yangon.
It is the deadliest natural disaster in Myanmar's recorded history, and the worst in the world since the 2004 tsunami.
It is the second major cyclone in just six months to make landfall after forming in the Bay of Bengal. Tropical Cyclone Sidr killed 3,300 and devastated the rice crop in Bangladesh in November.
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