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Cyclone Surge Kills 9 People and Washes Away Villages in Pauk Taw

Posted by ေက်ာက္ၿဖဴသားေခ် Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Pauk Taw: Tidal surges as high as 12 feet brought by Cyclone Giri have killed nine people and washed away seven villages in Pauk Taw Township in Arakan State, said a community leader in Pauk Taw who is distributing relief to victims in the area.

He said that nine people, six from Re Pike Chai village and three from Nga Ree Chai village, were killed in tidal surges brought by the cyclone. A surge as high as 12 feet washed away seven villages located in the coastal area of Pauk Taw Township.

The seven villages that were washed away by the surge are Byin Thit, Kyauk Mong, Pyin Gri, Nga Ree Chai, Ree Pike Chai, Thea Dwe, and Nga Mea Byint, which are located on small Inn Gra Chai Island in the East Phon Ron Ga Archipelago, south of Arakan State's capital Sittwe.

"As far as I know, all homes, monasteries and schools in the seven villages were washed away by a surge during the cyclone that hit the Arakan coast last Friday. The villages are now barren plains without any houses," the source said.

Over 20,000 people in Pauk Taw Township were affected by the surge but there has been no government relief since the storm struck six days ago.

"The cyclone victims need emergency relief, including food and water, but no relief has reached them yet. An NGO called Metta Foundation arrived in our town and brought 100 sacks of rice to donate to the victims. I also have plans to travel to the worst hit areas with some officials from Metta Foundation to distribute rice to the victims today," he said.

In Pauk Taw Township, several other villages located on islands were also destroyed by the storm and tidal surges. Those villages are Byin Daung, Saw Mae Kyi, Kalar Thein, Zi Shwe Maw, Kan Byin, Nga Pyi Tat, Ponna Gyi, and Sun Bike Village on Myay Ngu Island.

An official from Pauk Taw Township confirmed nine people were killed in the township during the cyclone but he refused to provide further details.

Burmese officials announced that 27 people were killed by Cyclone Giri when it hit the Arakan coast, but many people believe the confirmed death toll will be higher than that.

A youth leader from Kyauk Pru, an area hit hard by the cyclone, told Narinjara over the phone yesterday that the death has risen to 93. Among the casualties are nine residents from Pauk Taw, twelve from Min Bya, one from Kyauk Pru , and 71 from Mray Bon Township, where 80 fishing boats were reportedly sunk by the storm.

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