The staggering loss of life in the wake of last Monday's earthquake in China, and the earlier cyclone that hit Myanmar, continues to mount. In China, the nation is struggling to deal with its worst disaster in 30 years, with the death toll already confirmed at over 28,000, and at least another 10,000 still buried. It's expected to reach 50,000 before all is said and done. Landslides have clogged rivers and lakes, threatening to flood towns already ravaged by the earthquake's destructive forces. Hardest hit by the earthquake is the riverside village of Donghekou, which was annihilated when a mountain collapsed on top of it, burying scores of people.
Meanwhile, in Myanmar, at least 134,000 people are dead or missing, and an already bad situation is being made worse by a tyrannical distatorship more concerned with maintaining its grip on power than with the welfare of its people:
Myanmar's rulers showed off neatly laid out state relief camps to diplomats Saturday while continuing to keep a French navy ship laden with aid waiting outside its maritime border.
The helicopter tour appeared aimed at countering global criticism of the government's failure to provide for survivors of Cyclone Nargis, which left at least 134,000 people dead or missing.
"It was a show," Shari Villarosa, the top U.S. diplomat in Myanmar, said after returning to Yangon. "That's what they wanted us to see."
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown accused authorities in Myanmar of behaving inhumanely by preventing foreign aid from reaching victims. He said the country's regime cares more about its own survival than the welfare of its people.
Mr. Brown said a natural disaster "is being made into a man-made catastrophe by the negligence, the neglect and the inhuman treatment of the Burmese people."
The French ship that was stalled off Myanmar's shores carries small boats that could reach "most of the regions where no one has accessed yet" in the Irawaddy delta, said France's U.N. ambassador, Jean-Maurice Ripert.