Thursday, August 17, 2017

After deadly tornado, Rakhine State braces for more bad weather

Two people were killed and six others were injured due to heavy rains in Rakhine State as the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) warned residents yesterday to be prepared for more rains and strong winds in the next few days.

A woman walks past destroyed homes in Yoe Ta Yoke village, Ponnagyun township, Sittwe, Rakhine State, western Myanmar, June 12. Photo - EPAA woman walks past destroyed homes in Yoe Ta Yoke village, Ponnagyun township, Sittwe, Rakhine State, western Myanmar, June 12. Photo - EPA

The two fatalities in the bad weather were killed after a tornado hit the Yoe Ta Yote village in Ponna Kyun township before dawn on June 12.

Six other people were injured and 18 houses were destroyed by the tornado, said Ponnagyun township administrator U Win Htay.

“The two fatalities were an 82-year-old and 29-year-old. A three-year-old girl was among the injured and she has been receiving medical treatment at Yoe Ta Yote station hospital as in-patient,” he said.

A temporary relief camp has been provided at Theingyi Monastery for people whose houses were destroyed, said Rakhine State Social Minister, Dr Chan Thar.

U Tun Myint Thein, one of the injured, said he was awakened by the sound similar to a roaring truck and in a matter of seconds everything was thrown into chaos, debris were everywhere.

“It sucked up everything around. The deceased family’s house was sucked up and the two dead persons and three-year-old girl were found at a farm several metres away,” he said.

The Department of Meteorology and Hydrology said that Rakhine, along with outlying states, would continue to experience bad weather in the next 72 hours due to the effect of a cyclone that made its landfall in Bangladesh.

Rakhine residents who lived in hilly areas should be alert against landslides and people near rivers or streams must be alert against flashfloods, the DMH warned.

It added that those living along coastal areas must be prepared for storm surges.

“We issued the warning for the residents to prepare for the natural disasters. Resident should be aware about the bad weather condition and must be prepared against flashfloods, landslides and storm surges,” said U Kyaw Moe Oo, Deputy Director General of DMH.

“Heavy rains with strong winds will continue in Rakhine because mass of clouds due to the cyclone remainder can found over the state and it will trigger heavy rains and strong winds,” he added.

U Kyaw Moe Oo, told The Myanmar Times that “floodwaters reached about 8 inches in Ann township yesterday . “

He said that although the cyclones do not tend to come into Myanmar directly in this period, Myanmar mostly face the impact of cyclone, especially in coastal area”.

Strong winds, heavy rains, and rough seas is expected in Rakhine, with the waves predicted to reach up to 12 feet in the delta and coastal areas and up to 9 feet in Gulf of Mottama, Mon-Tanintharyi coastal area, the DMH said.

Aside from Rakhine, bad weather is also expected in Kachin, Chin, Kayah, Mon, and Magwe states, and Mandalay, Bago, Saging, Yangon, and Ayeyarwaddy regions.

Two weeks ago Cyclone Mora swept through Andaman sea damaging thousands of homes in Bangladesh, Sri lanka and Myanmar as well as destroying thousands of acres of agricultural crops, as well as causing injuries to dozens of people.