The following is the translation from Myanmar blogger Nyi Lynn Seck about Cyclone Nargis.
"What we knew was that the wind speed would be around 50 miles per hour. When flood water came, all our family ran to upstairs. During that time, wind was also blowing quite rough, and water waves were hitting the house. Our house’s pillars were quite large. Even such large pillars became loose. When water reached the upper floor, I pushed my two younger sisters above the ceiling beams. It was very dark and I sould not see anything properly. I suddenly saw mother was flushed way with a wave from father’s hand. When I tried to grab my mother, she shouted and pushed me back. When I turned my head to my two sisters, they were gone. A wave hit me and I was thrown out into the water. I took off all the clothes and swam my best. I could not see anything. Finally, I was so depressed and thought I would die soon. I prayed for Lord Buddha. Suddenly, I saw two pieces of wood, and I grabbed hold of them. I flowed with the current until I reached the top branches of the tree. I grabbed hold of the branches and waited until the water was down. I don’t know whether my survival was luck or misfortune. I lost my mother, my grand mother, two uncles, my two younger sisters and my aunty. Only me and my father left"
"Some people were trying to scavenge valuables from the corpses. When I rowed my boat near the river bank to dock, I found grandma’s corpse. Her earings, neckace, bracelets were all gone. Her corpse was left there because her hair was tangled with a tree branch. I don’t want to say anything about taking valuables, but at least they should have cut the hair and put the corpse onto the river bank. When I saw this, I cried."
"My two sons and my younger brother went to a near by village for shin-pyu (novice ceremony). Their aunties and uncles came to their shin-pyu. When in the evening the wind blew strong, my two sisters went back home despite our protests. I never heard of them since then. There were twelve monks at the monastry. Ten passed away. They were crushed under the collapsed building. Their corpses were still there. I was so lucky to be alive. I climbed up the coconut tree and stayed there."
I cannot describe all the stories I heard. There are many members in each family in the villages. At least six members in every family. Generally, only one out of five escaped. Whenever they see corpses, sadness is apparent in their faces. They don’t cry as they were seasoned men, but they cannot hide their sorrow on their faces. Most of the dead were women. Many suggested they died not because of drowning, but because of injury during flooding. In some families, only old man and yound grandchild escaped. They said they don’t even want to think about it. Villages were destroyed to the point that it was really difficult to find own’s land. Many people have experience with storm but they didn’t think this storm would be this strong, so they didn’t take any precaution. That is one reason there were many casualties. Most are honest farmers. I looked up towards heaven and wondered why such misfortune hit these poor innocent people. When I climbed to the boat pier, I saw a corpse of a young child, wearing a rubber band on his wrist. Thousands of lives, thousands of innocent people, lost in the water, lost on the land.
When I read Nyi Lynn Seck’s article, I really wanted to cry. It really made me feel sad. You can read all about his experience and his aid work to the cyclone victims at http://nyilynnseck.blogspot.com/. The photos he took of Myanmar cyclone victims in Irrawaddy are here at http://picasaweb.google.com/lynnseck/Laputta.