Home/ News / India/  Cyclone Mocha: Death toll goes up in Myanmar's Rakhine

Cyclone Mocha crashed the coast of Myanmar and Bangladesh on Sunday causing widespread havoc with hundreds killed and thousands of houses destroyed. This was one of the most intense cyclones to hit the region between the Sittwe in the Rakhine state of Myanmar and Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh.

The wind speed during Cyclone Mocha is expected to be blowing at 250 kilometers per hour which destroyed trees and telecommunication towers. In some areas, the wind speed was so strong that the roof of many houses was ripped off.

Cyclone Mocha made landfall on Sunday with intense rains up to the tune of 3 and 3.5 meters. After hours of rain, the low-lying areas of the region were flooded intensifying the level of destruction. “Early reports suggest that damage is extensive and needs among already vulnerable communities, particularly displaced people, will be high," the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said.

The reports said that more than 2 million people were living in the path of Cyclone Mocha and the Rohingya of Myanmar accounted for a large part of this figure. The camps serve as shelters for individuals belonging to the Muslim Rohingya community who were displaced from their residences during a brutal military crackdown conducted by Myanmar security forces in 2017. The presence of aid agencies is inconsistent, and assistance from the country's military-led government is minimal.

Assessing the full extent of casualties and destruction is challenging due to the disruption caused by the storm's strong winds on telecommunication facilities in the region. Obtaining information is already difficult under regular circumstances because the military imposes restrictions on the media.

Myanmar is a country in crisis since February 2021 when the military led by General Min Aung Hlaing seized power from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The citizens of Myanmar came to the roads to protest against the coup, but the military responded with brutal suppression.

As the Cyclone destruction spread General Hlaing affirmed that it is necessary to give a helping hand to all Myanmar citizens. It is to be noted that Myanmar doesn't consider Rohingya as citizens.

(With agency inputs)


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Updated: 16 May 2023, 10:34 PM IST
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