As a severe cyclone began to hit coastal areas in Bangladesh and Myanmar on Sunday, authorities urged thousands of people in both countries to seek shelter.
Cyclone Mocha’s outermost band made landfall on the coast of Myanmar’s Rakhine state on Sunday morning, and the storm’s center was expected to make landfall near Sittwe township, which was under the highest weather alert, according to Myanmar’s Meteorological Department.
Since Friday, more than 4,000 of Sittwe’s 300,000 residents have been evacuated to other cities, and more than 20,000 people have sought refuge in sturdy structures such as monasteries, pagodas, and schools located on the city’s highlands, according to Tin Nyein Oo, who is assisting people in Sittwe shelters.
Many locals live in areas higher than 3 meters above sea level, believing that the storm surge will not reach them, he added.
— Shah (@adnan_shah) May 14, 2023
As per a statement given by Tin Nyein Oo, Strong winds of 40 to 48 kilometers per hour (25 to 40 miles per hour) were blowing in the city on Sunday morning.
“The storm has not yet entered, so we don’t have much difficulty. However, there are too many people in the shelters and not enough toilets,” he added.
— Weatherman Shubham (@shubhamtorres09) May 14, 2023