The death toll from the cyclone that ravaged the Irrawaddy delta in Myanmar may exceed 100,000, the senior U.S. diplomat in the military-ruled country said Wednesday.
“The information we are receiving indicates over 100,000 deaths,” said the U.S. charge d’affaires in Yangon, Shari Villarosa.
The U.S. figure is almost five times the 22,000 the Myanmar government has estimated.
The U.S. estimate is based on data from an international non-governmental organization, Villarosa said without naming the group. She called the situation in Myanmar “more and more horrendous.”
“I think most of the damage was caused by these 12-foot storm surges,” she said.
Villarosa also said that about 95 percent of the buildings in the delta region were destroyed when Cyclone Nargis battered the area late Friday into Saturday.