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'Flash floods kill 18 in cyclone-hit Myanmar'

Written by: Staff

Yangon, May 4: Flash floods triggered by Cyclone Mala killed 18 people in central Myanmar, state media reported today, sharply raising the death toll from last week's storm.

Another 14 people were still missing after the storm swept inland on April 29 and struck Kyangin Township, 130 miles northwest of the capital, Yangon, the Kyemon newspaper said.

''The flash floods occured after the storm caused heavy rainfall in the mountains,'' the newspaper said, quoting government officials in the area.

Earlier media reports had confirmed four deaths after the storm battered coastal areas of western Irrawaddy Division and Southern Rakhine state, damaging 2,500 homes.

Five factories in Hlaing Thar Yar Township, 10 miles west of Yangon, were destroyed by hurricane-force winds.

Myanmar's secretive military government has allowed U.N.

agencies and the Red Cross to survey the damage and provide some emergency relief.

The agencies yesterday said there was a need for shelters, food, blankets, clothing and mosquito nets.

''The national authorities rapidly started providing relief to affected households. They have not requested international assistance, but welcome it,'' they said in a joint statement.


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