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Chinese community in Myanmar joins in cyclone relief work
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The Chinese community in Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon is taking part in the cyclone relief work along with the Myanmar people. Three major local Chinese associations had successively donated through the authorities concerned to storm victims a total of 50 million Kyats (45,000 U.S. dollars) in cash in the last two days.

These associations are the Overseas Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Overseas Chinese Charity Association and Fujian Native Association.

Other individuals also made such donations to the government's relief and resettlement headquarters.

At a meeting of the charity activities launched here Sunday, local Chinese businessmen disclosed that many of their factories operating in some industrial zones in Yangon were destroyed to certain extent.

A local Chinese businessman, who just returned from the disaster-torn area where he had business, also disclosed that at least 10 local Chinese residents have died and more than 100 missing in Laputta township, one of the areas in Myanmar's southwestern Ayeyawaddy division hit by the violent cyclone storm Nargis last weekend.

It was the first report about casualties of Chinese residents in the disaster-hit regions as access to the areas from outside was only available when some transport and communications links started to resume in the last few days.

In a village named Pyinsalu in the township, houses of about 4 to 5 Chinese families were blown away. Three family members were feared dead in one of these households, while two sons of another family have died in the disaster, leaving their parents, a sister and one of their wives behind, Lai, who is a Fujian Yongding native, spoke to his native members.

According to Lai, there were 400 to 500 Chinese households with a population of 2,000 to 3,000 including those from Fujian, Guangdong and the Hakka natives residing in Laputta which has been totally destroyed by Nargis.

In another township of Mawlamyinegyun island in the division, houses of two Chinese families disappeared in storm, leaving 10 family members missing, according to another businessman Du who also said villages in Bogalay township sustained the most serious damage. Survivors there have run up to town from village but were transferred to the nearby township of Myaungmya in the division.

The Hainggyi Island in the division was also totally wrecked, he added.

The deadly tropical cyclone Nargis, which occurred over the Bay of Bengal, severely hit last weekend five divisions and states -- Yangon, Bago, Ayeyawaddy, Kayin and Mon, covering such coastal towns in southwestern Ayeyawaddy division as Haing Gyi Island, Pathein, Myaungmya, Laputta, Mawlamyinegyun, Kyaiklat, Phyarpon and Bogalay, and the biggest city of Yangon and sustaining the heaviest ever casualties and infrastructural damage.

According to an official updated death toll Sunday, a total of 28,485 people have lost their lives in the cyclone storm with altogether 33,416 people still missing.

(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2008)

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