UN assesses low damage from weakened Cyclone Mahasen in Bangladesh, Myanmar

Displaced people in Khaung Doke Khar, Myanmar, were moved out of tents to nearby government shelters outside Sittwe, Rakhine state ahead of Cyclone Mahasen. Photo: UNHCR/M. Murphy

17 May 2013 – United Nations agencies and partners are assessing parts of Bangladesh and Myanmar after Tropical Cyclone Mahasen hit land today, weakened and dissipated, leaving behind less damage than originally feared.

In a report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Government of Bangladesh reported six deaths and a limited number of injuries in flood affected districts. No causalities were reported in Myanmar.

“While assessments are ongoing, in light of the potential damage anticipated over the last five days, reported damage to houses has been limited,” OCHA reported.

Aerial assessment across the affected districts showed “no significant damage; however there are localized pockets of flooding which may see limited needs for provision of drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, and temporary shelter to people who have been affected.”

In Myanmar’s Rakhine state, UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) implemented a preparedness and contingency plan, developed in March, which included the relocation of 120,000 people to safer and higher locations.

The region was spared “any significant impact” from the storm and initial assessments indicate no damage, OCHA reported, but UN agencies and partners continue to monitor areas to protect civilians still faced with being displaced as the rainy season continues.


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