On Thursday 16th May 2013, Cyclone Mahasen hit the coastal district of Patuakhali in Bangladesh. Officials had prepared for the storm before its arrival, evacuating nearly a million people, reducing fatalities to just 14.
By Maurice Geary, Logistics Advisor, Concern Worldwide
When the rains came in Zambezia Province in central Mozambique, people collected their belongings and left their traditionally built homes behind to head for higher ground. They resettled in scattered pockets, often under very basic shelters constructed from palm leaves held up by stick frames.
17 May 2013 - Christian Aid is releasing £100,000 emergency funds to partner organisations in Bangladesh to help them distribute food and provide emergency assistance to vulnerable communities hit by Cyclone Mahasen. Nearly 1.3 million people have been affected, 128,000 homes destroyed and 14 people are dead after heavy rain and cyclone-strength rains hit low-lying coastal regions of Bangladesh on Thursday evening.
After making landfall in Bangladesh and moving forward to the northeast away from Myanmar, Tropical Cyclone Mahasen weakened and dissipated on 17 May. Relevant storm tracking sites stopped tracking the weather system once it moved over northern Bangladesh early on 17 May.
As of midday today, the Government of Bangladesh had reported six deaths, and a limited number of people in flood affected districts were injured. While assessments are ongoing, in light of the potential damage anticipated over the last five days, reported damage to houses has been limited.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
CHF 300,794 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) in delivering immediate assistance to some 6,500 beneficiaries. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.
As cyclone Mahasen headed towards Burma, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India, local authorities and aid agencies such as World Vision helped to minimise the dangers for people in vulnerable, low-lying areas. The Rohinga Muslim community, many living in camps in Burma's Rakhine state, were particularly at risk. Aid workers helped to evacuate 1 million people to shelters during the storm, which weakened without causing major devastation
MERCY Malaysia Head of Relief Operation, Hew Cheong Yew is currently in the Rakhine region, assessing the needs of the distressed community, as well as providing basic medical aid
According Hew, he is now working together with the local government as well as other NGOs in the area to serve those who have been relocated due to Cyclone Mahasen to schools and monasteries which are currently being used as evacuation centers
SITTWE, Arakan State—Many evacuated Rohingya and Buddhist Arakanese began returning to their camps on Friday, after Cyclone Mahasen had missed Burma a day earlier. Although many Rohingyas were glad to have avoided the storm, some complained that life at the camp sites would continue to be extremely difficult.
By Friday afternoon, most evacuated Rohingyas in northern Arakan State had returned to their old camp sites, said James Munn, a public information officer at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA).
In the month of April 20132, the Gu (April – June) rains were heavy in the 1st dekad, but slightly declined in the 2nd and 3rd dekads across Somalia. Significantly above average rainfall has been recorded in some stations in Togdheer, Sool, W. Galbeed, Mudug, Bay, Gedo, Hiran and the Shabelle’s (Map 1 and Table 1). Enhanced rainfall in Somalia and in Ethiopian highlands, in the first dekad of April increased river flows along the two rivers and subsequently led to floods in Middle Shabelle (Jowhar and Wanlaweyn) and Lower Shabelle (Kurtunwarey and Balad). In Jowhar, the river
Somalia is the country generating the third highest number of refugees in the world, after Afghanistan and Iraq. UNHCR leads protection and emergency relief interventions targeting 700,000 IDPs out of a total IDP population estimated at 1.1 million and over 2,300 refugees in Somalia.
On 6 May, Al Shabab fighters ambushed the Raskambooni police base in Dobley town.
The armed clashes lasted more than half an hour and one Raskambooni soldier died during the attack and three others were seriously injured. Two days later, the militants launched another hit and run attack against the Somali government forces manning a checkpoint at Shaqalaha neighborhood on the exit road to Afmadow west of Kismayo.
No casualties were reported. Tension remains high in Dobley and its surrounding areas.
Intense seasonal Gu rains have led to flooding, damaged an estimated 6,397 hectares of crops and displaced about 50,000 people in the Country. Strong rains in the Ethiopian highlands led to worrying increases in water levels along the Juba and Shabelle rivers. Flash floods were reported in Baidoa and Jowhar areas.
Some deaths have been reported in Bangladesh, where over a million people were evacuated. The caution was justified: in 1970, Cyclone Bhola killed some 400,000 people, in 2007, Cyclone Sidr killed nearly 4,000.
Rain and strong winds lashed Burma’s northwest coast as the weakened Cyclone Mashasen crossed into Bangladesh on Thursday, killing four people.
Following the Burmese government’s muddled efforts to relocate thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) along the Arakan coastline, it remains unclear if people will begin moving back on Friday or whether they would remain at their current locations.