Myanmar: Cyclone Mocha - Flash Update #5 (as of 16 May 2023)
- Communities continue to clean up and are assessing the damage inflicted by Cyclone Mocha. Almost 5.4 million people are estimated to have been in the path of the cyclone across Rakhine and the Northwest. Of these, early estimates indicate that nearly 3.2 million are considered to be most vulnerable and are considered likely to have humanitarian needs.
- Public infrastructure, including hospitals, banks and religious buildings, was badly damaged across the impact zone.
- Health, relief items, shelter, clean water, sanitation and hygiene needs are being reported across the board.
- In-kind food assistance, rather than cash, is being requested by the affected people as prices for key commodities have gone up exponentially.
- Explosive ordnance risks are high in conflict-affected rural areas where landmines may have shifted during flooding and as people have been on the move to safer areas.
- Humanitarian partners continue with their field observations in various locations in Sittwe and other townships.
- Rapid needs assessments (RNAs) and some preliminary distributions will start once approval is granted in six priority townships in Rakhine, which are considered most affected.
- More than 1,200 houses are reported to be completely or partially destroyed in townships across Chin.
- Severe flooding has affected more than 100,000 people in villages in Magway and Sagaing. Floodwaters have damaged infrastructure and agricultural fields and washed away animals and personal belongings.
- An urgent injection of funds is desperately needed to facilitate a full-scale response to the impact of the cyclone and subsequent flooding. The pre-existing US$764M Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) is only 10 per cent funded which does not yet include the cost of responding to cyclone Mocha.
Significant information gaps still exist. Broken communications lines continue to hinder connections with affected communities, and partners report that some villages are still completely cut off from the internet. By the end of 16 May, telephone lines have partially been restored which will facilitate communication with affected communities and between humanitarian personnel. In many townships in Rakhine, as well as in Paletwa township in southern Chin, a number of organizations continue to face challenges in establishing contact with their staff and partners.
Almost 5.4 million people are estimated to have been in the path of the cyclone, enduring winds in excess of 90 kmph across Rakhine and the Northwest. Of these, nearly 3.2 million are considered to be most vulnerable to the cyclone impact based on analysis of shelter quality, food insecurity and coping capacity. This group is highly likely to have humanitarian needs in the wake of the cyclone.
There are local reports of possible deaths and of people being missing, including IDPs. The UN and its partners are working to start rapid needs assessments as soon as access is granted to better understand the impact of the disaster. Negotiations for access are ongoing.
Reports continue to come in of immediate needs for relief items, shelter, in-kind food, health and WASH support. Concern about waterborne disease outbreaks is high, and close monitoring will be critical. Explosive ordnance risk education and hygiene awareness will also be required, along with psychological support.
Survivors have been sharing harrowing tales of their experiences at the height of the cyclone and their concerns about the rebuilding challenges ahead. “I moved to the evacuation site with my family, seeking safety. After the storm subsided, I went back alone to check on our house. It was completely destroyed. Those who stayed in the camp told me that it was horrible and that their houses were destroyed; they were stranded, unsure where to seek refuge amid these difficult conditions. The camp itself was submerged in water. Several people sustained injuries and are in need of medical care. The people need clean water and food. We also need support to rebuild our houses so we can come back,” shared one of the IDP in Dar Paing Rohingya camp.