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    At least 15,000 killed by Myanmar cyclone

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    At least 15,000 people have died since the Nargis tropical cyclone hit Myanmar on Saturday, China's Xinhua news agency quoted official sources as saying Monday.

    MOSCOW, May 5 (RIA Novosti) - At least 15,000 people have died since the Nargis tropical cyclone hit Myanmar on Saturday, China's Xinhua news agency quoted official sources as saying Monday.

    Earlier Monday, Myanmar's state television said the death toll was nearing 4,000, with around 3,000 people missing.

    Authorities in Myanmar introduced a state of emergency in five regions as the cyclone struck, with wind speeds reaching some 190 km/h (118 mph). Most of those killed were in the low-lying Irrawaddy delta.

    The majority of the Southeast Asian country's largest city, Yangon, is still without electricity, and its streets are filled with overturned cars, uprooted trees and other debris. Telephone and Internet communications have also been severely disrupted. Several towns around Yangon have also been flooded.

    Russia's Foreign Ministry said no Russian nationals had been affected by the cyclone.

    A referendum is due to be held in Myanmar on May 10 on the country's military-backed draft constitution, supposedly to be followed in 2010 by a general election.

    Myanmar's ruling junta seized power in 1988, and although a general election was subsequently held in 1990, the military authorities refused to honor the results after pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy Party won the polls.

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