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  Aid for Myanmar Mobilizes, Mixed With Criticism
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ContributorArmyDem 
Last EditedArmyDem  May 07, 2008 09:59am
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CategoryNews
MediaNewspaper - New York Times
News DateWednesday, May 7, 2008 05:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionBy SETH MYDANS and HELENE COOPER
Published: May 7, 2008

BANGKOK — A powerful cyclone that destroyed a vast swath of coastal Myanmar and left many thousands of people dead prompted the country’s military leaders to allow some foreign aid groups to deliver relief supplies on Tuesday. But the ruling junta came under increasing pressure to further open its doors — and even relax its tight political grip — to grapple with the growing disaster.

The Myanmar government put its tally of deaths since Cyclone Nargis struck early Saturday at 22,500 and said 41,000 people were missing. Such early estimates often prove inaccurate, and the wide path of this cyclone, which destroyed homes across the fertile Irrawaddy Delta and into Yangon, the nation’s main city, left a large area of destruction, complicating rescue efforts and damage assessments for days or weeks to come.

Foreign governments and aid organizations worldwide began mobilizing a major relief operation, and some aid began flowing into the country. But President Bush, speaking in Washington, continued a campaign to press the military government to allow fuller access to international relief teams and private charity groups.
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