Saturday, May 24, 2008

Myanmar's biggest industrial zone partly resumes production


YANGON, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's biggest industrial zone of Hlaingtharya in Yangon, which was seriously destroyed in a recent severe cyclone storm, has partly resumed operation with half of the 800 factories going into production again, the local weekly Voice reported Saturday.

Quoting the industrial zone administration authorities, the report said the zone has restarted to produce food, construction material and plastic after half of the 157 collapsed lampposts which carry electricity were rapidly reinstalled and repaired.

During the storm, most of the roofs of the factories in the industrial zone were blown to pieces, it said.

The industrial zone sustained a property loss of 3 billion Kyats (2.7 million U.S. dollars), the report added.

The Hlaingtharyar industrial zone is the first disaster-hit area which Myanmar top leader Senior-General Than Shwe visited a fortnight after the disaster.

Myanmar claimed that the first phase of its post-disaster restoration work -- rescue and relief, has been over and it is now entering into a second phase of resettlement and reconstruction.

Under the post-disaster restoration plan, 30 Myanmar private companies have been taking part in the restoration work in cyclone-hit regions with assignments by the government to take the responsibility of undertaking resettlement work in 17 affected townships.

The authorities also said that nearly 60 percent of the power supply, over 76 percent of communication links and over 98 percent of the water supply have resumed in the city of Yangon.

The education authorities said all schools will reopen on June 2 after renovation.

Deadly tropical cyclone Nargis, which occurred over the Bay of Bengal, hit five divisions and states -- Ayeyawaddy, Yangon, Bago, Mon and Kayin on May 2-3, of which Ayeyawaddy and Yangon inflicted the heaviest casualties and massive infrastructural damage. The storm has killed 77,738 people and left 55,917 missing and 19,359 injured according to updated death toll.

Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations John Holmes, who visited Myanmar earlier this week, believed that between 1.6 million and 2.5 million people were severely affected by the cyclone.

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