Myanmar: Cyclone Mocha - Flash Update #6 (as of 17 May 2023)
17 May 2023
The gradual restoration of communications is allowing humanitarian teams to gather a clearer picture of the impact of on millions of people who were in the path of Cyclone Mocha that hit Myanmar with brutal force on Sunday afternoon.
Widescale destruction of homes and public infrastructure throughout Rakhine state is being seen, including in the capital Sittwe and in Rathedaung where there are scenes of widespread devastation.
Partners continued observations in various locations in Sittwe and other townships and are ready to start coordinated field missions to gauge the full scope of the humanitarian situation, as soon as access is granted.
Urgent needs include shelter, clean water, food assistance and healthcare services. There are rising concerns in flooded areas about the spread of waterborne disease and the movement of landmines.
The lack of electricity in certain areas, as well as physical and bureaucratic access constraints, continue to be a challenge. Several bridges providing access to displacement camps in Sittwe have been washed away and are hampering movement.
The road between Yangon and Sittwe has now reopened, potentially providing a transport route for much-needed supplies, if approved. It is also hoped the Sittwe airport will re-open on Thursday.
The impact of the cyclone was also felt heavily in the country’s northwest where houses were blown or washed away. Strong winds and rains have also damaged camps for displaced people in Kachin State.
Efforts are under way to mobilize resources for the response, but an urgent injection of funds is needed with the $764M Humanitarian Response Plan just 10 per cent funded.