Thousands of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar killed in Cyclone – Residents, Aid Groups

May 16 (Reuters) – Cyclone Mocha hit Myanmar over the weekend, killing dozens of Rohingya Muslims, reporting significant damage and rendering many areas inaccessible, residents, aid groups and reports say. the agency announced on Tuesday.

Conflict-torn Myanmar’s Rakhine state bore the brunt of Sunday’s storm, which blew winds of up to 210 kilometers per hour (130 miles per hour) and ripped off home roofs, creating storm surges and flooding. state capital Sittwe.

Non-government aid group Partners announced on Twitter that there were dozens of casualties, citing local sources. He posted a video showing the damage.

Reuters could not independently confirm the number of casualties. Myanmar state media reported on Monday that three people had died.

In a separate Twitter post, Partners said it was “expanding its response efforts to provide critical relief items such as rice and tarps to the Rohingya communities affected by Cyclone Mocha wherever possible.” Stated.

The western region of Myanmar is home to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, a persecuted minority that successive governments have refused to recognize. More than a million people fleeing recent military crackdowns live in sprawling camps in neighboring Bangladesh.

The news portal Myanmar Now, citing residents, said 22 Rohingya had been killed.

Myanmar state media did not mention casualties on Tuesday, but reported that military junta chief Min Aung Hlaing had visited Sittwe to assess the damage, provide donations and give instructions for the response.

About 400,000 people were killed before the storm made landfall on Sunday was evacuated in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said some 6 million people in the region were already in need of humanitarian assistance before the storms hit, with 1.2 million of them internally displaced by ethnic conflict.

A resident of the area, who asked not to be named because of security concerns, told Reuters that more than 100 Rohingya had been killed, based on investigations in villages he said he had visited.

“There are too many people missing in storms,” ​​he said. “So far we haven’t received any help.”

Two other residents contacted by Reuters said many had died, as did diplomats briefed on the situation, but did not provide further details.

The storm was one of the deadliest since Cyclone Nargis hit parts of southern Myanmar in 2008, killing around 140,000 people.

Reported by Reuters staff. By Martin Petty.Editing: Christopher Cushing

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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