Prospects dim for restoration in Myanmar one week after cyclone

Prospects are dim for immediate restoration in areas of Myanmar hit by a devastating cyclone a week ago.

Cyclone Mocha made landfall on May 14 in the western state of Rakhine, where the military has been pressuring minority Rohingya Muslims.

The pro-democracy National Unity Government, which opposes the country's military rulers, says the cyclone has left 435 people dead, and the figure is expected to rise.

Takagi Noriko, who heads the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Myanmar, spoke to NHK on Saturday.

Takagi said her office has been gradually providing aid. But she said it has not been able to help all the people affected, as the staff cannot visit the cyclone-hit areas to investigate the situation.

She said she met military officials in the capital Naypyitaw on Tuesday to ask for permission to enter the affected areas, but has not yet received approval.

Takagi said her office had stockpiled supplies before the cyclone, and is ready to distribute them.

She said the lives of the affected people will become worse as aid is delayed, and that her office wants to get access to the affected areas as soon as possible.