Rakhine Awaits Roanu

Observed and forecast track of Cyclone ROANU over Bay of Bengal.
Observed and forecast track of Cyclone ROANU over Bay of Bengal.

Myanmar’s Department of Meteorology (DMH) upgraded the depression in the Bay of Bengal to what is now known as Cyclone Roanu, on Thursday afternoon. The storm is expected to strengthen as it heads northeast today, expected to make landfall over Bangladesh on Saturday evening.
Deputy Director of DMH, Hla Tun told The Global New Light of Myanmar yesterday afternoon that Roanu is still considered a ‘yellow’ threat as it’s path isn’t set to make landfall in Myanmar. But the storm will affect Northern Rakhine State, also bringing strong squalls and high seas to Rakhine’s coastline.
Roanu is set to make landfall tomorrow evening, with Rakhine and Chin States on high alert for strong winds and heavy rainfalls. As the storm moves it’s projected to cross over into Myanmar as it weakens bringing rains through Chin and into Sagaing Region – similar to last years Cyclone Komen.
U Kyaw Min, Director for Rakhine State’s Department of Relief and Resettlement (DRR) told The Global New Light of Myanmar that he had spoken with Dr Win Myat Aye, Union Minister for Social Welfare Relief and Resettlement (MSWRR). The MSWRR has supplied Rakhine State DRR with K50 million (US$5000) for relief.
The Minister also discussed coordination between the different committees in Rakhine and how they can work together in order to quickly respond to those in need. U Kyaw Min noted that local NGOs who have signed MoU’s with the Rakhine State government will cooperate on disaster relief.
A representative from the International Red Cross Committee told The Global New Light of Myanmar that the group has a stock of 10,000 non-food items stored in the state. These packages include tarpaulin, stoves and other necessary items.
Warnings are being distributed to areas around Rakhine State from the General Administration Department, who alert townships and villages on how to prepare for the storm and how to respond after the storm. No information was supplied regarding how those in Internally Displaced Camps are being notified.
The Global New Light of Myanmar tried various sources in Chin State to understand how the state is preparing citizens for the storm. Yet, because of Chin States rural landscape no direct contacts could be made.
Veteran meteorologist Dr Htun Lwin told The Global New Light of Myanmar that Rakhine can expect wind speeds from 65 to 80km p/h (40-50 miles) with waves reaching 6 to 9 meters (20-30 feet). This may change today as the storm gathers momentum.

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