THE PCIJ’s Tita Valderama was among five journalists from Southeast Asia who were able to enter Myanmar (still Burma to pro-democracy groups) from Bangkok on tourist visas for five days last week from May 1 to 5. They happened to be in Yangon (Rangoon) a day before, and two days after, the “killer” cyclone wrought so much damage and disaster.
By Monday night, the death toll was reported to have climbed to at least 10,000, even as the former capital is now littered with fallen trees and electric posts. Several houses and hospitals lost roofs while thousands, or maybe millions, of poor people in about 30 coastal villages have been rendered homeless.
Below are images Tita surreptitiously took using her digital camera, an act that was not without its dangers given that the military government does not allow foreign journalists to enter the country.
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Read her first-person account of the tragedy.
See also op-ed piece of Roby Alampay, SEAPA executive director.