Myanmar: Floods - Information Bulletin n° 1

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In Brief

This Information Bulletin (no. 01/2004) is being issued based on the needs described below reflecting the information available at this time . Based on further updates and details from assessment reports, or should the situation deteriorate, the Federation will consider international support through an Emergency Appeal.

The Situation

An estimated 220 people were killed by a cyclone that hit the western state of Rakhine in Myanmar on 19 May. Winds of up to 70km/h hit the costal areas of Sittwe, Myae Bon, Pauk Taw, Myauk Oo, Ponnar Kyun, Min Byar, Kyauk Phyu and Ann. Tidal surges and flooding followed the storm leaving more than 14,000 people homeless and an unknown number missing.

A Red Cross assessment team travelled to area reporting damage to electricity and phone lines. Travel to and from the area is difficult with at least 200 boats destroyed and roads washed away.

A report by the Relief and Resettlement Departme nt, Social Welfare Ministry, and Fire Services Department on 26 May reported numerous buildings have been damaged, including 300 schools and approximately 2800 houses. Water supplies have been contaminated and the threat of water-borne disease remains high.

Rakhine is a sparsely populated state, with 2.7 million people covering 14,200 square- miles. Sittway, the state capital, is the biggest city.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Myanmar Red Cross have distributed relief supplies to individuals, each containing 24 items (including blankets, mosquito nets and household utensils) for 100 families from their warehouse in Sittwe and relief supplies of 24 items for 200 families from Yangon warehouse. This was the total stock of the national warehouse in Yangon, and had a value of 36,000,000 Kyat (4,500 USD).

Conclusion

The extent of the damage and the total numbers of people still remain unclear, however the Myanmar Red Cross recognises the need to distribute food, safe drinking water and roofing materials and will be seeking funding for these items. The longer term needs of the affected people will include help to rebuild their bamboo houses.

For longer-term programmes, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Yangon: Dr Kyaw Win, President, Myanmar Red Cross Society; Phone 00951 296552; Fax 296551: email: mrcsem@mptmail.net.mm; U San Tun Aung (MRCS Head of Communications); Phone 00951 296 384; Fax 296 551; email: mrcsem@mptmail.net.mm; Uma Narayan (Acting Head of Delegation), Phone 00951 297877, 296004; email: ifrcmm10@redcross.org.mm

In Bangkok: Juergen Weyand, Regional Head of De legation; Phone 662 661 69 33, Fax: 662 661 6937; email: ifrcth23@ifrc.org In Geneva: Charles Eldred-Evans/Sandra Rosner; Phone 41 22 730 4320/4456, Fax: 41 22 733 03 95; email: Charles.Evans@ifrc.org or Sabine.Feuglet@ifrc.org

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org