Many feared dead after Cyclone Mocha hits Burma

(Reuters) – Dozens or hundreds of people could have been killed by Cyclone Mocha over the weekend in Burma, residents, humanitarian organizations and local media reported on Tuesday.

Rakhine state in the country’s west, where many Rohingya Muslims live, was hardest hit by the storm, which brought winds of up to 210 km/h, destroyed homes and infrastructure, and caused flooding in the regional capital Sittwe. Caused. ,

Residents reported at least 100 dead and many more missing, saying no help had reached them.

A resident who asked not to be identified for security reasons told Reuters that more than 100 Rohingya had been killed. He said that he has made this assessment after visiting several villages after the cyclone.

Two other residents contacted by Reuters also said several people had been killed, as did a diplomatic source briefed on the situation, who did not provide details.

Local media Myanmar Now declared several hundred people dead and aid organizations spoke of a “significant death toll”.

Burmese official media put the death toll at three.

Damage to communications and roads from the storm, combined with restrictions imposed by the military junta in power in Burma, complicates the collection of information and the distribution of aid to affected areas, undermining non-governmental organizations.

In 2008, Cyclone Nargis killed approximately 140,000 people in southern Burma.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimated that about six million people were already in need of assistance in the region before Cyclone Mocha hit, with 1.2 million displaced by ethnic conflicts, including the Rohingya. There are, a Muslim minority who were the subsequent governments. Burma refused to recognise.

(Editing by Reuters, Writing by Martin Petty, French edition by Bertrand Boucy, Nicolas Delme)

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