When I logged on this morning and saw the headlines – 18,000 trapped, 12,000 dead in China – the numbers took my breath away. It doesn’t seem like they can be real. In one school alone, hundreds of students were trapped. Amid the pain and shock, fireworks have been heard with alarming regularity. Used to ward off evil spirits, they’re a sign another child’s body had been found.
The information coming out of China is especially disturbing given that this tragedy comes on the heels of the cyclone in Myanmar/Burma. CNN’s correspondent there – who is not being identified because of safety concerns - talks of seeing international aid distributed in big cities, and seeing small villages completely forgotten. "They have no drinking water whatsoever," the correspondent said. "When you don't have drinking water and you are forced to drink out of puddles and drinking reservoirs contaminated by dead bodies... It is a very dire situation."
US Admiral Timothy Keating met with Myanmar’s senior leaders, and in his words “pressed hard” for them to accept aid. Admiral Keating told CNN he isn’t confident the aid will go to the people who need it the most. Perhaps the most disturbing information from the Admiral was one leader’s assertion that things were “getting back to normal”…and the lack of urgency this leader showed.
The UN estimates the death toll could be as high as 100,000, far below the Myanmar government’s estimated 22,000. Tens of thousands more are missing. We may never have an accurate count of the lives lost there, but I think we can safely say those left behind will never be the same.
Filed under: Erica Hill
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with