April 30, 2006

Cyclone Mala kills two in Myanmar

YANGON (Reuters) - Cyclone Mala killed at least two people
in Myanmar and damaged hundreds of homes and several factories
before petering out over the weekend, state media and the Red
Cross said on Sunday.

Hurricane-force winds and heavy rainfall struck a township
near the capital Yangon late on Friday, tearing the roofs off
five factories in two industrial parks, the Kyemon newspaper

Some 586 homes were damaged in Hlaing Thar Yar Township, 10
miles west of Yangon, Michael Annear, head of the disaster
management unit for the International Federation of Red Cross
in Southeast Asia, told Reuters.

The cyclone killed two people and injured 12, according to
figures confirmed by the Red Cross, but state media put the
number of injured at 21.

Annear said a 4-member Red Cross team was assessing the
damage in southern Rakhine state where the storm struck Gwa
township, a coastal resort area.

Mala lost intensity and turned into a tropical storm after
it hit Myanmar's west coast, calming fears of a repeat of a
2004 disaster in which more than 100 people were killed.