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Cyclone dead wash ashore on distant Myanmar beach: official

by Staff Writers
Yangon (AFP) June 14, 2008
About 300 bloated and decaying corpses, apparently victims of Cyclone Nargis, washed up on a beach in eastern Myanmar more than one month after the storm, a local official said Saturday.

The bodies had been found in the last week on the beach near Mawlamyine town, across the Gulf of Martaban, more than 100 miles (160 kilometres) east of the devastated Irrawaddy Delta, the official told AFP.

More than 133,000 people were killed or are missing after the cyclone struck six weeks ago. Many were washed out to sea as a tidal surge wiped out their villages.

"About 300 dead bodies have been cremated in the last week, after they floated into Kyaikkhami and Setse beaches. They were all decomposing. Most of them appeared to be women," said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"Some fishermen saw these dead bodies on the beaches and informed the authorities," he said. "We decided to cremate them for the sake of the environment," he said.

Residents told AFP by telephone that many people had moved away to avoid the grim scenes of bodies washing onto the beaches.

The descriptions recalled the devastation in the delta last month, when victims' bodies were left rotting on roadsides and floating in rice fields, where in many cases they laid for weeks.

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Quake hits car, electronics factories in northern Japan
Tokyo (AFP) June 15, 2008
Operations at a number of Japanese car and electronics makers remained suspended on Sunday as companies tried to repair damage from a powerful earthquake, officials said.

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