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Rangoon Hit Hard by Cyclone


Reports from Burma say a cyclone has devastated Rangoon, the country's largest city.

Cyclone Nargis, with winds of up to 190 kilometers per hour and heavy rains, florced the closure of Rangoon's International Airport Saturday and knocked out state-run radio, television, telephone and Internet service.

Reports from residents of Rangoon say many public and government buildings have been damaged. They add that rooftops litter the city's streets and downed trees and telephone poles are blocking roads.

There is no word whether the storm damage will affect next week's scheduled constitutional referendum.

Burma's military rulers have said the vote on May 10 will pave the way for democratic elections in 2010.

After lashing Burma, cyclone Nargis moved toward Thailand, where at least 14 provinces are on alert for possible flooding and mudslides.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.