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At least 27 dead, 15 missing in Myanmar in wake of cyclone

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • At least 27 are dead and 15 missing as a result of Cyclone Giri, state media reported
  • Opposition newsmagazine says government has ignored U.N. offers of assistance
  • Giri slammed into western Myanmar on Friday with winds of 155 mph

(CNN) -- At least 27 people were killed, 15 are missing and 2,500 homes were damaged in Myanmar as a result of Tropical Cyclone Giri, which slammed into the country Friday with wind speeds of up to 155 mph, state television reported Monday.

The Irrawaddy, an opposition newsmagazine, reported on its website Monday that Myebon Township in Arakan state "was almost entirely flattened." The website said that state-run media "remains virtually silent" and that government officials have ignored offers of assistance from the United Nations.

The opposition website quoted an official with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society in Yangon as saying the death toll in the city of Kyaukpyu "is on the rise."

"All roads and telephone lines have been cut off. It's a bit hard to assess the affected areas," the site quoted the official as saying.

The newsmagazine quoted U.N. sources as saying Prime Minister Thein Sein made no response when the world body's humanitarian coordinator in Yangon said, during a ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of the United Nations, that the international community was ready and willing to help cyclone victims in Myanmar (also known as Burma).

Giri made landfall Friday in western Myanmar immediately after winds strengthened to 155 mph, making the storm equal to a super typhoon, CNN meteorologists reported.

At landfall, it was stronger than Tropical Cyclone Nargis when it made landfall in May 2008, killing more than 100,000 people in southern Myanmar, the meteorologists said.