By Aye Sapay PhyuCYCLONE Giri crossed the Rakhine State coastline about 15 miles (24 kilometres) north of the island of Kyaukpyu at about 8pm on October 22, a Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) announcement said.
October 25 - 31, 2010
October 25 - 31, 2010
According to the DMH announcement, when Cyclone Giri made landfall it brought with it winds gusting between 160 and 193 kilometres (100 to 120 miles) an hour.
Residents of Kyaukpyu said Giri was the strongest storm they had ever experienced.
“The wind started blowing in the morning but became much stronger in the afternoon. It also rained non-stop from 3pm to 9pm.
“Although we’ve experienced many storms in the past, I have never witnessed winds that strong,” said one Kyaukpyu resident.
She said some houses in the township were flattened by the wind, and her house and compound were drenched and covered by leaves and branches thrown about by the storm.
She added that many roads had also been blocked and residents were busy clearing away the mess on the morning of October 23. She also said authorities were out collecting data about the storm on October 23.
Another Kyaukpyu resident said thousands of villagers in low-lying areas were evacuated. The villages of Sar Pyin Kwin, Kanyin Taw, Pyin Pyu Maw and Zaditaung in southeastern Kyaukpyu township suffered flooding from high water in Nga La Kway Creek, which flows into Kyaukpyu River.
“The dam on Nga La Kway Creek has been broken since early October, which made the flooding worse. In the morning [of October 23] there was still waist-high water in those villages, and some people said that at one point it had risen to the height of a man,” he said.
He said the storm caused a tidal surge, but it was less than the 3.7 metres (12 feet) that had been predicted before the storm hit.
The resident also said relief camps for flood victims had been opened in two monasteries and Basic Education High School (1) in Kyaukpyu. The victims were provided food by township residents, and authorities also distributed relief supplies such as blankets.
He said Cylone Giri knocked down many lampposts, trees and fences, and also tore away the roofs of many houses, but there was no shortage of fresh water because the wells were full from heavy rain.
An official from the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement said that they had not received any reports of casualties as of October 23 and the department was waiting for better weather to relief kits to cyclone affected areas in Rakhine State.
DMH announced on the morning of October 23 that the cyclone moved in a northeasterly direction after it crossed the coast and was heading toward Magwe Region with forecasted maximum wind speeds of 50 miles an hour (80kph) and was expected to abate with the next 12 hours.
The department said that Magway, Mandalay and Sagaing regions would all experience heavy rains as a result of the storm.