Rain Headed to Myanmar; Death Toll Soars

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Forecasters say tropical weather threatening Burma will not develop into another cyclone, but will bring heavy rains to the already devastated area.

It's now estimated the death toll in Myanmar could hit 128,000, even as the military regime continues to hinder efforts to rush aid to the survivors.

Myanmar's junta has also turned back foreigners at checkpoints, along with their water, medicine, blankets and other supplies.

Relief workers also said some storm victims received poor-quality food sent by international donors.

Some are wondering if the international community should intervene forcefully.

"There is a visible fence around Yangon that we don't dare cross. A circle has been drawn around Yangon and expats are confined there," said Tim Costello of aid group World Vision.

It had been reported that some foreign aid was being sold in markets, and that the military was using aid for its own use. Now, the junta is warning that those who are caught trading international aid will be punished.

In a rare opportunity to make some difference, Operation Blessing International launched a project, Thursday, to fix 40 water wells in Myanmar that were destroyed.

The effort would restore clean water to nearly 20,000 people a day.

"We tried to ship in portable water purification units from the U.S., but the Myanmar government has the border pretty much closed," Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International said. "The existing deep wells are a perfect solution; already there, just waiting to pump pure water. All we had to do was provide electricity."

OBI also hopes to send medical teams to the area; a project that could help at least 60,000 Burmese.

Earlier, an OBI relief worker was able to provide at least a month's worth of food to a group of orphans affected by the storm.

Sources: CBN News, Operation Blessing International, The Associated Press

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