Relief International is mobilizing immediate assistance to address the aftermath of Cyclone Mocha, a large storm that made landfall in Bangladesh and Myanmar on Sunday May 14, 2023.
Reports suggest Myanmar recieved much of the direct impact of the cyclone, as winds of up to 210 kph (130 mph) damaged buildings and brought down a communications tower. Parts of Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine state in Myanmar, have been flooded and the ground floors of several buildings were under water.
In Bangladesh, the damage appears to be more limited but government officials still estimate that over 300,000 people have been impacted and over 13,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed by the cyclone.
The cyclone poses a particularly large threat to the stateless Rohingya community and host communities who live in Cox’s Bazar. Approximately 1 million Rohingya refugees live in the overcrowded camps in Cox’s Bazar, the majority of whom reside in temporary shelters made of bamboo and tarpaulin. For these shelters, heavy wind and rain can be devastating.
Aleksander Kuzmanovic, Country Director for Relief International in Myanmar, has stated,
“In Myanmar, Relief International is currently responding by providing immediate support to evacuation centers in the townships of Myebon and Kyaukphyu. We are distributing essential food and water items to approximately 5,000 people for the next four days.
As of 12 noon local time, all staff members are accounted for and safe. Due to damage to communication towers in Sittwe, our communication channels are currently limited. The area is still within the eyewall of the storm, and we anticipate the storm to start diminishing from approximately 18.00h local time.”
Meanwhile Nazrul Islam, Relief International’s Deputy Country Director in Bangladesh, has stated:
“In Bangladesh, Relief International’s Mobile Medical Teams are prepared to respond to emergency needs. We are also ready to provide medical equipment, medicines, emergency vehicles, food stocks, and shelter as needed.”
Relief International has been serving communities in Myanmar for over 15 years, providing essential healthcare consultations to 48,000 individuals annually and delivering vital protection and support services to 50,000 people per year. In Bangladesh, Relief International has been actively working for nearly two decades, providing protection and support services to 68,000 Rohingya refugees. Our organization extends 116,000 healthcare consultations annually to those who have fled violence and persecution, as well as to members of the host communities.
Relief International is only able to respond rapidly to communities in crisis thanks to the support of our donors. Donations to www.ri.org/donate help provide critical aid, including medical assistance, essential items, and food supplies as well as support for long-term recovery to communities affected by Cyclone Mocha, and many other crises across the globe.
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