Cyclone Giri Photos

Cyclone's 100mph winds hit Myanmar hard

Posted by ေက်ာက္ၿဖဴသားေခ် Thursday, 28 October 2010

Tearfund partners in Myanmar (Burma) are looking to deploy emergency aid after a cyclone with 100mph winds crashed into the west of the country and left thousands homeless.
Rakhine State bore the brunt of Cyclone Giri, a category four high risk storm, which triggered a seven metre tidal surge and heavy rains on Friday.
Roads, bridges, power and telephone lines have been damaged, making communication with the affected areas difficult and slow.
Tearfund partners are urgently trying to find out about the scale of damage and humanitarian needs but are making plans to distribute food and hygiene kits to prevent the spread of disease.
David Bainbridge, Tearfund's International Diretor, said, 'It’s difficult for us to gather exact information because of the logistical challenges in communicating with our colleagues and organisations in the country, but we know from experience that food and hygiene kits will be needed urgently and we’re making sure that we get them out to the people who need them.’
While there's been no official statement about the cyclone’s impact, other reports indicate dozens have died and thousands of people are seeking refuge.
Roofs blown off
The most affected townships in Rakhine State are reported to be those in coastal areas, especially Kyaukpyu, Minbya, Munaung, Myebon and Pauktaw.
Kyaukpyu has been particularly affected, with the majority of buildings there having their roofs blown off and the town’s hospital has been left badly damaged. Early warning of the storm enabled many residents to leave the town, but three emergency camps set up by the government are providing shelter for 5,000 people.
In a town called Kyauk Pru, 10,000 people are living in schools and monasteries, supported by food donations from local people and charities.
Eight villages in Myebon have been badly damaged and generally there’s said to have been considerable destruction to bamboo and thatch-built property.
Cyclone experience
According to one Tearfund partner, the population in the affected area is 110,000 people, with around 25,000 living in areas likely to have been in the path of the tidal surge.
Cyclone Giri has struck Myanmar as it gears up for a general election on 7 November – its first in 20 years.
Myanmar is no stranger to cyclones. In 2008, Cyclone Nargis killed 140,000 people and affected millions of others when it slammed into the Ayeyarwaddy delta in the south of the country.
Tearfund partners responded with emergency aid in the immediate aftermath and since Nargis have helped 120,000 people get back on their feet, through home rebuilding and livelihood assistance.
Helping communities prepare for future cyclones, through adopting early warning systems, has also been a part of Tearfund’s response to Nargis.

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