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Sittwe in Myanmar: Hurricane "Mocha" made landfall on Sunday with wind speeds of more than 250 kilometers per hour

Photo: Uncredited / dpa

Cyclone Mocha has caused severe damage in Myanmar, and many people have lost everything. Members of the Rohingya Muslim minority, which has been persecuted for decades in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, are particularly affected. As a result, many are fleeing in Myanmar. "The situation is terrible. People don't even have clean water," said Shwe Phyu, who helps Rohingya refugees in the hard-hit region around the city of Sittwe. It's a disaster."

Hurricane Mocha made landfall on Sunday with wind speeds of more than 250 kilometers per hour. It was the most violent cyclone in the region in more than a decade. Many Rohingya refugees have been completely helpless at his mercy, said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. A spokesman for the "National Unity Government" (NUG), a kind of democratic shadow government, spoke on Tuesday of at least 400 dead. However, according to eyewitnesses, the actual number of victims could be much higher.

No more place to seek shelter

"There is about a village here where 2000,5 people lived – now there are only a few hundred," says Shwe Phyu. Most of the other residents were probably killed by the Category <> storm. Many are completely desperate and have no place to seek shelter after the destruction of their emergency shelters.

The ruling military junta, which seized power in a coup two years ago, is doing nothing to help those affected. Instead, the military is hindering the work of the helpers. The generals have been violently suppressing any resistance since the coup.

"We expect that the death toll reported so far is likely to increase significantly," Robertson said. Those who survived were in dire need of food, medicine and shelter. "Now is the time to help the Rohingya people, while significantly increasing international pressure to end the abusive restrictions these internally displaced people have faced for years," Robertson said.

The cyclone also raged in neighboring Bangladesh, but there have been no reports of deaths there so far.