Windsor Genova - AHN News Writer
London, UK (AHN) - The British government estimates that up to 200,000 died or went missing from devastating Cyclone Nargis that struck Myanmar on May 2.
The figure, gathered by the British Department for International Development from aid groups, is greater than the 128,000 estimate of the International Red Cross and the 62,000 estimate of the Myanmar government.
The British tabloid The Sun reported Wednesday that the death toll may surpass or even double that of the 2004 Asian tsunami if survivors are exposed to diseases and fail to get immediate assistance, which the Myanmar military junta is limiting.
The Indian Ocean tsunami killed 225,000 people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.
The Sun also quoted Nyo Ohn Myint of exiled opposition party The National League for Democracy as saying that half a million people would die within a matter of weeks if dead bodies are not collected and burnt.
Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called an emergency meeting to find ways to assist victims after Yangon turned back foreign aid workers.
Agence France-Presse quoted Ban as saying, "The magnitude of this situation requires much more mobilization of resources and aid workers." The UN chief also said precious time was wasted in trying to get visas for foreign aid workers.