People in cyclone-hit Myanmar await food aid

It's been a week since deadly Cyclone Mocha battered Myanmar. People in affected areas are suffering serious food shortages because the country's military junta hasn't allowed international organizations to provide full-scale assistance.

The western state of Rakhine was hardest hit. It's a region where the military has been suppressing minority Rohingya Muslims. In footage obtained by NHK, people are seen eating rice soaked in seawater.

"Finding food is a huge problem," a male villager said.
"Every time we eat damaged rice, it upsets our stomachs."

The pro-democracy National Unity Government opposing the military rulers says the cyclone killed 435 people. That figure is expected to rise.

The United Nations began stockpiling relief supplies even before Mocha made landfall in Myanmar. But the junta hasn't issued the UN permits allowing it to freely travel in Rakhine and other badly damaged areas. The world body continues to ask military officials to let it in and help with its aid activities.