Jakarta, 28 March 2011
ASEAN stands ready to assist fellow Member State Myanmar, following the 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Shan State Thursday. The Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, extended the region’s condolence and support in person through the Permanent Representative of Myanmar to ASEAN, U Nyan Lynn, when the two met at the ASEAN Secretariat this afternoon.
“I have been encouraged by the numerous calls, e-mails and text messages from the other Permanent Representatives to ASEAN,” stated Ambassador Lynn. “I thank everyone for their concern and appreciate the offers of assistance.”
ASEAN Member States, along with Indonesia as the current ASEAN Chair, have issued statements of condolences to Myanmar as well as offered assistance. Thailand, for instance, has offered to donate initial cash assistance of THB 3,000,000.
“The Government of Myanmar was able to act quickly, having deployed the National Disaster Preparedness Central Committee within 24 hours and relief items including shelters, sanitation, food, medicine kits, blankets and clothes for the victims by the weekend,” said Dr Surin. “Nonetheless, we will continue to be on standby to support Myanmar with any help she may need in the days and weeks ahead.”
At the meeting, Ambassador Lynn also informed Dr Surin that, to date, 74 deaths and 120 injuries have been recorded. The earthquake has also left 390 homes, 10 governmental buildings and 26 religious buildings damaged. Tremors, meanwhile, were reportedly felt as far away as Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Myanmar has picked herself up following the natural disasters that hit the country in the past few years. Following Cyclone Nargis in May 2008, approximately 140,000 people