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Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Tuesday, 6 May 2008 12:35 UK

Eyewitness: Rangoon after the cyclone

As the toll from Saturday's cyclone continues to rise, a 29-year-old Burmese man told the BBC about rising prices, community clean-ups and devastation on the streets of Rangoon.

Buddhist nuns walk past a fallen tree in Rangoon (4 May 2008)
Burma's main city Rangoon is one of the worst-affected areas
Rangoon is like a dead city now.

Most of the trees have fallen down. Many roads have been blocked by the big trees that our city used to have.

There is no electricity at the moment. People are clearing up the streets themselves. Local people are trying to solve their own problems.

In some places the police and government servants are also clearing. But the authorities are not helping quickly. Everything is going slowly.

Water is the main problem for people now. Everybody is talking about the shortage of water. At the moment, monasteries and mosques are providing water to people. At the drinking water company, people are queuing for water to drink.

Fuel is also a problem as the price has doubled. It is now almost 12,000 kyats per gallon for diesel and gasoline. Now food prices are also increasing.

One 48kg bag of rice is about 30,000 kyats. Previously it was 22,000 kyats.

'People struggling'

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People are feeling very bad. We have never had this kind of situation before. Most people are really worrying.

All people are struggling to overcome the current situation. But they are blaming the current system because there is a real mess on the road now.

In town there is almost no public transport. Casual labourers cannot work because bus fares are about 1,000 kyats for a one way trip.

The weather is also too hot.

I was travelling at the time of the cyclone. I was on my way to Rangoon so I missed the worst of it. Some of my friends were affected.

The roofs of some houses were blown off. Vehicle windows have been broken because of satellite dishes falling from buildings.

I am very sad for people in the delta, where houses have been totally damaged. Now they are homeless.

Many farmers must be very disappointed. I have some friends in that region but we have had no contact with them yet. There is no phone line and no news of them.

I can't see how Rangoon will recover, even in one month's time.



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