Chin and Rakhine Prepare


Cyclone Roanu as of 20 May at 6am.
Cyclone Roanu as of 20 May at 6am.

Myanmar’s Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) has issued an ‘orange’ alert for Cyclone Roanu as it moves through the Bay of Bengal. Roanu is set to make landfall over Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh tomorrow evening, it will cross into Myanmar’s Chin state as it recedes.
Disaster awareness is underway in Chin and Rakhine states.
Chief Editor of the Chinland Herald, Nhge Pi told The Global New Light of Myanmar that the government has been using the DMH warnings to warn the state.
“The DMH has also been alerting Pastors in the state to inform villages that the storm will be moving across the state,” said Nhge Pi.
Adding, “The people don’t seem to know how serious this storm may be.”
Henri, a worker for the NGO Marie Stopes, told The Global New Light of Myanmar that it had been raining for three days in Chin and that he hadn’t seen the sun for two days.
“Most people have been following the news on social media from DMH updates, they know that there is a storm coming.” he said.
Northern Rakhine state is also preparing for Roanu, Maung Win Thein of Maungdaw told The Global New Light of Myanmar that people have been stocking up on supplies and staying in doors.
“The local authorities have been driving around town with loud speakers on trucks alerting people about the storm,” he said. He added that he hopes there are evacuation plans for when the cyclone hits.
The reasoning for upgrading the storm warning to ‘orange’ is due to how close it will be to the Myanmar border, Hla Tun, Deputy Director of DMH told The Global New Light of Myanmar.
“I want the people of Rahkine and Chin States to know that there will be very heavy rains and strong winds, with landslides occurring in Chin State. I want them to know that this is a very serious storm,” said Hla Tun.
Don Price, Emergency Operations Center Advisor from USAID told The Global New Light of Myanmar that the right wing of the cyclone as it moves forward holds most of the wind and rain, and that like Komen, Roanu will make landfall in Bangladesh but Myanmar will receive most of the wind and rain.
As Roanu makes landfall wind speeds are set to climb as high as 95 km p/h (60 miles) in Rakhine and Chin States. The depression developed into a cyclone Wednesday afternoon, the eye of the storm has been moving north-east-west of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh as of yesterday afternoon.
Before forming the depression caused widespread flooding in Sri Lanka, killing 58 and displacing 130,000 people.


Jaiden Coonan

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