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At least three killed as powerful storm batters Myanmar

At least three killed as powerful storm batters Myanmar

Monday, May 15, 2023, 20:08 GMT+7
At least three killed as powerful storm batters Myanmar
Strong winds and heavy rainfall is seen at ThekayPyin Rohingya camp, as Cyclone Mocha approaches, in Sittwe, Rakhine, Myanmar, May 14, 2023 in this screengrab taken from a handout video. Photo: Obtained by Reuters/Handout via Reuters

At least three people were killed, 13 injured and more than 1,000 buildings were damaged when Cyclone Mocha pummelled western Myanmar, state-run media said on Monday.

But refugee camps in southeast Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar escaped the worst of the storm, although many bamboo huts were damaged, residents of the region said.

It was Myanmar's strife-torn Rakhine State that bore the brunt of the storm, which unleashed winds of up to 210 kph (130 mph) that ripped roofs off homes and brought a storm surge that inundated the provincial capital of Sittwe on Sunday.

More than 850 houses, 64 schools, 14 health facilities and seven communication towers in Myanmar were destroyed or damaged by the storm, one of the most powerful to hit the country in years, military-owned Myawaddy TV news channel said.

Strong winds and heavy rainfall are seen, as Cyclone Mocha approaches, in Sittwe, Rakhine, Myanmar May 14, 2023 in this screengrab taken from a video. Photo: Obtained by Reuters/Handout via Reuters

Strong winds and heavy rainfall are seen, as Cyclone Mocha approaches, in Sittwe, Rakhine, Myanmar May 14, 2023 in this screengrab taken from a video. Photo: Obtained by Reuters/Handout via Reuters

A junta spokesperson did not immediately answer a telephone call from Reuters seeking comment.

A spokesman for the Arakan Army militia force in Rakhine State said it was using its communication equipment to gather information on the impact of the storm because civilian networks had been severely disrupted.

In 2008, Cyclone Nargis swept across parts of southern Myanmar killing nearly 140,000 people.

Before Cyclone Mocha made landfall on Sunday afternoon about 400,000 people were evacuated in Myanmar and Bangladesh, as authorities and aid agencies scrambled to avoid heavy casualties.

The majority of buildings in Sittwe were damaged, including the main hospital that lost parts of its roof, a resident said by telephone.

Reuters

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