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Page last updated at 09:52 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 10:52 UK

Resilience amid Burma catastrophe

Burmese children in a shelter in a temple near Rangoon, 13/05

It has been 10 days since Cyclone Nargis devastated much of southern Burma. A BBC reporter in the country says many victims are resilient and resigned, but others remain in desperate need.

Rain has been falling heavily across southern Burma - once again drenching tens of thousands of cyclone survivors still living out in the open or in makeshift shelters.

An impressive clean-up operation can be seen in the bigger cities affected by the storm.

Some aid has arrived, reaching many more people than before. We have seen Red Cross trucks arriving, and we have seen the government putting up literally a couple of dozen tents - although those tents are still empty.

You do not need to go that far outside the cities to see people in desperate, desperate trouble

But in terms of aid being handed out, the situation is very patchy. We have just seen a businessman who is driving around in a pick-up truck handing out sweet cakes and water.

The aid delivery is haphazard. Some villages are receiving aid, but people in other villages perhaps just a kilometre away are still sitting by the side of the road, waiting.

In the most cut-off areas the situation is far worse. There are many areas along the gulf and delta coast still untouched by the rescue effort.

The equation there is simple - unless those people get help soon, they will die. Many could be dead already.

Meanwhile aid continues to accumulate in warehouses outside Burma, and aid workers continue to plead with the Burmese government to be allowed to help.

You do not need to go that far outside the cities to see people in desperate, desperate trouble.

We have also seen lots of people whose entire rice store has been ruined, so they require food urgently.

Most people are resilient, they are resigned they are making extraordinary effort to make the best of what they've got.

They are building their houses by whatever means they can.

But under the surface, and sometimes not so under the surface, there is frustration and anger that things have not happened quicker and that people are dying as a result.

We have been told by people who have come up to us to say that old men, old women and babies are dying as a result.





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