UNICEF Myanmar Humanitarian Situation Report No. 2 (Cyclone MOCHA): 15 May 2023
- Damage to structures and many roads initially blocked as a result of fallen trees and power lines when Cyclone Mocha made landfall on the Rakhine coast on Sunday, 14 May around midday. Cleanup crews were out on Sunday evening and Monday, with very heavy winds and rain lasting until around 15.30. Heavy rains and winds continued into late evening.
- The storm moved further north-northeast towards Myanmar’s Chin State and Sagaing Region, which are at high risk of landslides and localized flooding.
- Information on the full picture and impact on communities is not yet available due to downed telecommunications and intermittent availability of internet, and inaccessibility of some roads due to trees falling and debris.
- UNICEF, in coordination with OCHA and other humanitarian organisations, is still working to assess the situation and needs on the ground.
- The UNICEF funding situation is critical: to date the Myanmar 2023 Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal for USD 169.6 million is only 11.8 per cent funded.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Over 16 million people are in the path of Cyclone Mocha, including 1,751,284 people living in areas that will be affected by sustained wind speeds of >120km/h.1 The humanitarian situation in the anticipated affected areas is already of grave concern, particularly for the 232,100 people displaced across Rakhine and over 1 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Northwest.
Cyclone Mocha made landfall in Myanmar on 14 May, with heavy rain, storm surges and strong winds reported in Rakhine, particularly in the state capital Sittwe. Telecommunications with these areas have been cut since the afternoon of 14 May, making it impossible to have a more accurate update on the extent of damage. Flooding was less than predicted but did reach West Sanpiya ward, Sittwe Hotel and the UNICEF office.
There was damage to structures and many roads were initially blocked as a result of fallen trees and power lines. Cleanup crews were out on Sunday evening and Monday, and some roads have now been cleared. However, efforts are likely to take some time, due to the extent of damage.
Sittwe Airport, which was closed last week, seems to have reopened, likely for military flights, as four flights were reportedly observed overhead in one-hour period. No information is available so far regarding if or when domestic flights will resume.
In the Northwestern States, there has been severe damage due to heavy rains and wind and floods are reported in Magway and Sagaing, where heavy rains and limited capacity for shelters are reported for all IDPs. Armed attacks have also been reported in Kani, Khin U and Monywa.
The UNICEF office in Sittwe suffered substantial damage and will likely be out of service for a substantial period. A temporary office space will be identified while assessment of office viability and next steps are undertaken.
Initial estimates by the Inter Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG) indicate that 200,000 people will need humanitarian assistance in Rakhine and a further 500,000 people in the Northwest. Humanitarian teams are trying to attempt assessment of camps and wards around Sittwe.