An Internally displaced Rohingya woman holds
her baby outside her tent waiting to leave a camp for displaced Rohingya people
in Sittwe, northwestern Rakhine State, Myanmar, Thursday, May 16, 2013. Members
of the displaced Rohingya minority started to evacuate for safer shelters ahead
of the arrival of Cyclone Mahasen. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
May 16, 2013
missed western Burma’s Arakan State on Thursday afternoon, bringing relief to
tens of thousands of internally displaced Rohingyas living in camps near the
Hydrology said the cyclone had made landfall at the Chittagong coast in central
Bangladesh at 3:30 pm.
(60 MPH). In Myanmar there were some rains and on the Arakan coast there were
high waves,” he said. In northern Arakan State, at Maungdaw Township, waves of
2-meter (6-feet) were recorded as the cyclone passed by and near Sittwe waves
rose to about 1.5 meter, the official added.
Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh were lashed by strong winds, while heavy rains were
likely to cause widespread flooding. The UN said that 4.1 million people in
Bangladesh were being threatened by the cyclone.
on Thursday, Reuters reported, while thousands of small huts were destroyed by
the UN had been trying to evacuate tens of thousands of Rohingyas from
low-lying internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, located in a coastal zone
vulnerable to the cyclone’s impact, but some Rohingya camps had refused to
comply with the government’s evacuation plan.
Rohingyas had begun evacuating the sites. “The majority are moving now,” said James
Munn, a public information officer at the UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
moving since May 13,” he said. “We had a big storm last night… Those areas that
were reluctant to move [earlier] were ready to move today.”
nearby villages, located on higher ground.
Thein had stated that most Rohingya IDP camps had turned down a government plan
to evacuate them to a large military base near Sittwe. Rohingyas at three camps
said on Wednesday that they would not be moved to the base, as they did not
trust the military and police units that would transport them.
made by Hla Thein, adding, “That’s certainly not what we have seen on the
low-lying camps near Hmanzi Junction who had resisted evacuation, agreed to be
moved to the nearby village of Thit Kal Pyin.
Development, said that the US charity had arranged several trucks to evacuate
the Rohingyas from an unofficial camp called Dar Phim.
he said, adding that Rohingyas agreed to be moved because the military and
police were no longer involved in the operation.
waiting inside the secondary school in Thit Kal Pyin village on Thursday
morning as rains poured down.
after having been put through yet another ordeal. Some wondered how they would
survive while they waited at the crumbling old schoolbuilding.
emaciated-looking 60-year-old Rohingya man. “We are hungry today, we need
their babies, waited under an awning of the school building. They complained of
having no food or shelter for their vulnerable infants. “We moved here because
we are afraid of the storm,” said Shar Si Tar Pik, a 35-year-old mother of
daughter three months ago at Dar Phim camp, a cluster of rickety bamboo huts
covered with plastic tarpaulins, located on a muddy paddy field.
take care of her daughter in the conditions that her family was facing. “I’m so
troubled, I feel so bad. I have no food for my family,” she said, while
clutching her tiny baby tight.