Cyclone Giri Photos

Death Toll Rises and Thousands Left Homeless in Giri Aftermath

Posted by ေက်ာက္ၿဖဴသားေခ် Monday, 25 October 2010

Kyauk Pru: The death toll has risen to at least 50 and thousands of people have been left homeless after Cyclone Giri hit the Arakan coast on 22 October, many sources report.

U Ba Shin, a social activist in Kyauk Pru, said, "Eight bodies were recovered on Sunday in Pyin Wan Village alone, and 30 people the village are still missing. Everyone estimates the death toll has risen to 50."

Pyin Wan Village is located on Kuyunt Tha Ya Island in Mray Bone Township, 120 miles southeast of Arakan State's capital Sittwe.

Another source reported that the death toll has risen to at least 50 following the recovery of more bodies on Sunday on Kyaut Tha Ya Island, after many houses were destroyed by the tidal surge that hit during the cyclone.

The worst affected areas in Arakan are Mray Bone and Kyauk Pru, where local people report many bodies being found.

"The situation here is alarming, and the confirmed death toll so far in the area is 50, but it may go up," U Ba Shin told Narinjara by telephone.

Over 5,000 people are now taking temporary shelter at schools and monasteries in Kyauk Pru after fleeing their homes to escape the tidal waves churned up by the storm that had wind speeds over 100 miles per hour.

"Authorities in our town are preparing to distribute relief to the cyclone victims but there has been nothing up until Sunday evening. Now local residents are donating food to the victims after collecting food among themselves. However, rice and drinking water is now running short in the town and there is not enough to meet the needs of the cyclone victims," U Ba Shin said.

1,800 people in three wards - Sar Byinn, Zay Di Daung, and Kyin Ka Maw - in Kyauk Pru have become marooned by the flood waters or are living in shelters.

According to a source, 700 houses from Late Ka Maw Villages in northern Kyauk Pru were damaged and many people were left homeless. A UN based NGO is now arriving in Kyauk Pru to construct huts on the Kyauk Pru sports ground for the victims to take shelter in, but many other NGOs are still awaiting permission from the authority to enter the area and distribute relief aid.

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