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Second deadly cyclone forms near Myanmar

A second cyclone was forming Wednesday near Myanmar, less than two weeks after it was devastated by a killer storm, the U.N. said.

The United Nations' weather center is tracking a nascent tropical storm that is likely to become a cyclone, said Amanda Pitt, the spokeswoman of the world body's humanitarian relief program, in Bangkok, Thailand.

"This is terrible," she told reporters, adding that it could further jeopardize the people who survived Cyclone Nargis on May 3 and the efforts to distribute aid for them.

She couldn't say when or where the cyclone would make a landfall, or when it would become a full-fledged cyclone, which is being monitored by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, a part of the U.N.'s World Meteorological Center.

The center said on its Web site that "the potential for the development of a significant tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours is good."

It said "the circulation center (of the storm) is currently transiting generally northwestward across the Yangon delta region of Myanmar, which refers to the Irrawaddy delta.

The same area was pulverized by Cyclone Nargis on May 2-3, leaving more than 60,000 people dead or missing.

Pitt said if the cyclone warnings come true, the inadequate relief efforts for survivors of Nargis will be jeopardized.

"This is always a worry when you have further hazards affecting people," she said, adding that it "impacts people's ability to survive and cope with what happened to them."

"They are already weak. This is a great problem and impacts on how we can help people," she said.

The U.N. is leading the international relief effort, which is trying to supplement the Myanmar junta's aid delivery that has been criticized by aid groups and survivors as woefully inadequate.

Yet, the isolationist junta has refused to let international experts who have experience in managing humanitarian crises, saying it is capable of dealing with it on its own.

Meanwhile, some 2 million people are living in miserable conditions, many of them depending on rain for fresh drinking water, and meager food rations. Most water sources such as rivers and canals, which are littered with bodies and animal carcasses, are also contaminated by fecal matter and bacteria.

Aid agencies have warned that a humanitarian and medical catastrophe is building in the absence of a full-fledged relief program.

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