Over 18,000 homes damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Mocha in Rakhine State: GAD

23 May 2023
Over 18,000 homes damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Mocha in Rakhine State: GAD
People pass damaged structures in Sittwe in Myanmar's Rakhine state on May 15, 2023, after cyclone Mocha made landfall. Photo: AFP

At least 18,000 homes from 115 villages in Mrauk-U Township, Rakhine State, were damaged or destroyed last week by Cyclone Mocha according to an official from the township General Administration Department (GAD) office, reported the Rakhine Communication Hub citing the Development Media Group (DMG).

Of that total, more than 9,000 homes were completely destroyed and some 400 cattle were killed by the cyclone, according to the 21 May report just in.

Storm victims in Rakhine State are in need of food, medicine, shelters and clean drinking water. Due to storm surges, many lakes in rural areas were contaminated by saltwater.

About 700 rice bags and 450 viss of cooking oil were provided to storm victims from 18 villages, Soe Thet, the township administrator, told DMG.

Many of those whose homes were destroyed by the storm are unable to repair their homes and are currently taking shelter at monasteries and schools, while some storm victims have set up makeshift tents near their damaged homes.

Many cannot afford to rebuild their homes. People are living in makeshift tents near their homes or in areas of refuge, such as monasteries.

Commodity prices are skyrocketing in post-cyclone Rakhine State. The prices of construction materials such as timber and cement are also higher than normal.

The total death toll from Cyclone Mocha is unclear. The last official count stood at 145, but anecdotal evidence and reports indicate the final total will grow. The Myanmar junta has threatened to sue media organizations who they claim are inflating death figures. This move came after an international media report cited a figure of 400 deaths least week, a number the junta denied.

The local Rakhine authorities say a total of 1.1 million people in Rakhine State were negatively affected by the cyclone.