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5/19/2008

Cyclone toll above 133,000

BURMA'S junta took diplomats on a tour of the storm-ravaged Irrawaddy delta as the toll of dead and missing from Cyclone Nargis soared above 133,000 people, making it one of the most devastating ever to hit Asia.

In the last 50 years, only two Asian cyclones have exceeded Nargis in terms of human cost - a 1970 storm that killed 500,000 people in neighbouring Bangladesh, and another that killed 143,000 in 1991, also in Bangladesh.

However, with an estimated 2.5 million people clinging to survival in the delta, and the military government refusing to admit large-scale outside relief, disaster experts say Nargis' body count could yet rise dramatically.

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