A powerful cyclone hit Myanmar and southeastern Bangladesh Sunday, cutting off communications and leaving substantial damage in its wake.
Cyclone Mocha made landfall as a strong Category 4 storm in Rakhine, just north of Sittwe, Myanmar, before peaking at a Category 5, The Washington Post reported. The storm was one of the strongest storms to ever hit the country.
“The ongoing wild weather in Rakhine and telecommunications interruptions mean it has not yet been possible to assess the full magnitude of the disaster,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated, per CNN.
“But early reports suggest the damage is extensive and needs among already vulnerable communities, particularly displaced people, will be high.”
As of early Monday, at least six casualties were reported in Myanmar, with at least 700 injured, according to The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, residents of Sittwe told BBC News that up to 90% of the city, which is the capital city of Rakhine state, has been destroyed.
Footage obtained by BBC from the disaster shows a telecom tower collapsing from strong winds, and refugee camps being damaged.
Deadly Cyclone Mocha hits Bangladesh and Myanmar coasthttps://t.co/HGO488OOU4 pic.twitter.com/lGTlANq7vf— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) May 14, 2023
The storm was predicted to hit Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, where nearly 1 million refugees live, but the region was largely spared from the worst of the storm. However, at least 1,300 makeshift shelters in the refugee camp were damaged by the wind, BBC reported.