YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar’s official media said Tuesday that 10,000 people were killed by a cyclone in just one town, confirming fears of a spiraling death toll from the storm’s 12-foot tidal surges and high winds that swept away bamboo homes in low-lying coastal regions.
The ruling junta, an authoritarian regime which cut the nation off from the international community for decades, appealed for foreign aid to help in the recovery from Saturday’s disaster, the country’s deadliest storm on record.
The casualty count has been rising quickly as authorities reach hard-hit islands and villages in the Irrawaddy delta, the country’s major rice-producing region, which bore the brunt of Cyclone Nargis’s 120-mile-per hour winds.
Myanmar Foreign Minister told diplomats in Yangon Monday that, overall, more than 10,000 people may have died when Cyclone Nargis struck Saturday.
But on Tuesday, state television confirmed fears of a rapidly rising toll, reporting that 10,000 perished in the town of Bogalay in the country’s Irrawaddy delta.