Monday, May 19, 2008
Tom Fudge: How many people have died in this month's natural disasters in China and Myanmar? We still don't know. The cyclone that hit Myanmar, formerly called Burma, has killed nearly 80,000 people. But about 50,000 are still missing. Thirty-two thousand people are confirmed dead as a result of a devastating earthquake in the Sichuan province of China.
The response to these two disasters have been remarkable in their contrasts. China has mounted a massive response, using tens of thousands of troops to dig through the rubble and search for survivors. China has allowed teams from outside the country to join in the response - even from their long-time enemy Japan.
Myanmar's military government, by contrast, has seemed paranoid and protective. Aid workers complain of having no access to the country. They say the government has refused to allow shipments of aid from other countries to reach the victims. During the rest of this hour we're going to talk about these disasters, the response, and the question of how committed the rest of the world should be to helping out.