* UPDATE: The death toll from the Myanmar cyclone has exceeded 10,000 people. *
YANGON, Myanmar (CNN) — Almost 4,000 people have died and another 3,000 remain missing in Myanmar as a result of this weekend’s devastating cyclone, state media reported Monday amid fears that the death toll could continue to soar.
Diplomats summoned to a government briefing on Monday said the foreign minister had acknowledged that as many as 10,000 could be dead as the reclusive southeast Asian country’s ruling military junta issued a rare appeal for international assistance in the face of an escalating humanitarian crisis.
According to the BBC, Tropical Cyclone Nargis may be the world’s deadliest storm since a 1999 cyclone in India, which killed up to 10,000 people. Jeff Masters explains the counter-clockwise circulation of winds around the storm likely built up a storm surge of at least 4 meters (13 feet), drowning thousands in the Irrawaddy Delta region. Our hearts and thoughts are with the people of Myanmar.