Cyclone Giri Photos

Urgent Appeal for Cyclone Victims in Arakan

Posted by ေက်ာက္ၿဖဴသားေခ် Saturday, 30 October 2010

Sittwe: Over 100 people were killed and thousands left homeless when Cyclone Giri struck Arakan State in Burma on Friday evening, and the Arakanese political party Rakhine National Development Party, or RNDP, has appealed to the international community for assistance.

The RNDP issued a statement relating to Cyclone Giri with emergency declaration No. 1/2010, wherein the party appealed to the international community to provide humanitarian aid to cyclone victims.

Cyclone Giri hit two districts - Sittwe and Kyauk Pru - in Arakan State on Friday, 22 October, triggering tidal surges and flooding that left nearly 100,000 people homeless. The victims are now taking refuge in temporary shelters.

The death toll in the two districts rose to at least 100 following recovery of bodies throughout the week up to Thursday, but Burmese authorities announced that only 27 people were killed in the cyclone.

The worst affected area was Mray Bon, Kyauk Pru, Min Bya, Pauktaw, and Man Aung, where the UN reported 70,000 people have been left homeless and 130,000 have been severely affected by the disaster.

The RNDP stated that hundreds of rural houses have been destroyed or damaged, families have lost their essential household items, and crops have been destroyed. The displaced population has taken shelter in temporary huts without proper roofs or water wells.

Dr. Aye Maung, President of the RNDP, said, "We request on behalf of the Arakanese community to the UN and international community to provide aid to the victims of the deadly cyclone immediately. The victims are now facing many challenges struggling for their survival. The victims need emergency aid from the international community."

Cyclone Giri is the worst cyclonic storm to hit Burma since Cyclone Nargis claimed more than 100,000 lives in the Irrawaddy Delta in May, 2008, but there is yet to be much relief aid for the victims.

Dr. Aye Maung also said that storms often hit the coastal areas of Arakan every year, especially in the rainy season. Because of this, he has also requested that the concerned government authorities, the UN, and international NGOs consider a long-term plan to mitigate the impact such storms have on residents.

Speaking to Narinjara over the phone, Dr. Aye Maung said that cyclone centers are needed in the lower coastal areas of Arakan State for local residents to seek shelter in whenever cyclones hit the region.

Arakan has consistently faced severe storms every year, but there are no cyclone shelters anywhere in the state.

The RNDP is a political party based in Arakan State that is running 47 candidates in the upcoming election scheduled to be held on 7 November, 2010.

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