After transforming into a category-five storm, a robust cyclone landed on the shores of Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Despite bypassing the vast refugee camp in Cox's Bazar that had been anticipated, Cyclone Mocha still ripped away hundreds of makeshift structures.
Following Cyclone Mocha's Sunday landfall on the Bay of Bengal coast, Western Myanmar is experiencing severe gusts and torrential rain. At least six fatalities have been reported in Myanmar.
Sittwe, the capital of the western Rakhine state, has been completely devastated, according to locals who spoke to the BBC. The whole Rakhine area has been designated a natural disaster region by the Burmese military.
The cyclone had passed mainly by late Sunday. Kamrul Hasan, a disaster official for Bangladesh, said the hurricane did "no significant damage," but the country is still experiencing floods and landslides. There have been no reported fatalities in Bangladesh to date. Given that the storm in Rakhine state devastated electrical lines and crashed down homes, Myanmar seems to have been more directly affected.
According to Myanmar's meteorological service, the cyclone passed through the nation at a pace of around 209 km/h (130 mph). The state's Rohingya refugee camps have also been destroyed.
A 14-year-old boy was among the others reported dead, according to local media; he was killed in the state by a falling tree.
In many settlements of Sittwe, the electricity and wifi connectivity were disrupted. Amid torrential rain over the area, footage broadcasted online revealed billboards flying off buildings, telecom towers being knocked down, and roofs being blown off houses.
Rakhine State has been deemed a natural disaster region by the authorities, and the Myanmar Red Cross Society has stated that it is "getting ready for a major emergency response."
Before the cyclone, authorities in Bangladesh had relocated 750,000 people. As the cyclone grew vigorous, the skies blackened, the winds kicked up, and the rain pelted down, the streets of Cox's Bazar became deserted. Many individuals were jammed into a school converted into a makeshift cyclone refuge. In the classrooms, pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and the weak crammed themselves into every available space, lying on desks and sitting under them.
Countless people arrived at the shelter on foot and in rickshaws, carrying their livestock, including cattle, chickens, goats, and rugs for resting. They had made a challenging decision to travel from fishing and seaside settlements for up to two hours.
Sumi Akter, who resides near a riverside, expressed, "I didn't want to evacuate my house." Sumi and other people interviewed by BBC claim to have seen recent cyclones firsthand and are used to routinely leaving their houses to the whims of nature.
Low-lying settlements could be inundated by storm surges up to four meters high. Sumi and other people in this place worry that their homes might be flooded.
She added, “I wish the houses we resided in were built more strongly.”
Jannat, a 17-year-old, revealed that she shared the fear of what would happen to her riverbank home. Her home was wrecked by the cyclone Sitrang last year, forcing her to put away what little money she possessed on repairs. “How am I going to survive if this keeps happening? We are so impoverished that I can't afford to rebuild it,” she said.
The underprivileged at the nearby large refugee camp were also being punished by nature. The government of Bangladesh forbids Rohingya refugees from establishing permanent structures or leaving the camps. They put up rickety bamboo shelters with tarpaulin roofs as the cyclone approached. Some were transferred to communal shelters inside the bases, but these provided slightly better security.
More than 1,300 shelters, as well as 16 mosques and educational facilities, were damaged by the wind, authorities informed the BBC. In addition to two landslides that caused some damage, trees had plunged into the campgrounds.
The wind pulled off Mohammed Ayub's shelter's tarp. His eight-person family is presently living outside in the gloomy, rainy weather. Mohammed was comfortable that the camps were spared a direct impact from Cyclone Mocha after spending the days in fear of what it might bring.
As far as he was aware, there were no cyclone-related deaths in the camps, according to Mizanur Rahman of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner.
Cyclone Mocha, according to forecasters, might be Bangladesh's most robust cyclone in nearly two decades.
According to the Bangladeshi meteorological authority, the maximum sustained wind speed within 75 kilometers (45 miles) of the cyclone's center was around 195 kilometers per hour (120 mph), with gusts and squalls reaching 215 kilometers per hour.
In anticipation of the storm, surrounding airports had been closed, fishermen had been notified to stop working, and 1,500 shelters had been established as residents of at-risk locations were relocated to safer areas.
In 2008, Cyclone Nargis tore across Myanmar's southern coastal districts, killing almost 140,000 people and leaving millions in dire conditions. Most of the fatalities were induced by a 3.5-meter water wall that knocked the low-lying Irrawaddy Delta.
Edited by-Whitney Edna Ibe
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