Myanmar: Storm OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 27 May 2004
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2004/0076
OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Myanmar - Storm
27 May 2004
This report is based on the information provided by the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC)'s office in Yangon and UNICEF.

Situation

1. On 19 May, a storm that formed over the Bay of Bengal crossed the southwest coast in Myanmar near the border with Bangladesh. The storm with winds of over 160 km per hour caused tidal surges and flooding in the four towns of Pauktaw, Myebon, Sittway and Kyaukpyu in Rakhine State.

2. The storm caused a significant loss of life and extensive damage to the infrastructure in the four towns. It is reported that this is the worst storm to hit the area since 1968. Latest data on the impact is as follows:

- 140 dead, out of which 139 dead in Myebon

- 7 missing

- 3,700 families (approximately 18,000 people) affected and made temporarily homeless

- Over 1,000 houses destroyed, 960 damaged. Property damage was most acute in Pauktaw.

- Water sources damaged by floodwaters, and food and clean water shortages reported throughout affected areas

- In Sittway, a hospital and the Mingan Urban Health Center were badly damaged and are currently unable to maintain normal operations. Health centers in Pauktaw, Myebon and Kyaukpyu were substantially damaged.

- A large number of schools damaged or destroyed in the storm, including 44 schools in Sittway - the majority of them primary schools.

- Telephone lines are down, electricity supply has stopped, and segments of the main jetty linking Sittway, Pauktaw and Myebon are broken.

- Livestock, including 300 cattle in Myebon, killed.

National Response

3. The Government requested the UN Country team in Yangon for the following relief items to distribute to the affected. These items are estimated to be worth USD 220,000.

- Food (rice bags): 200 MTs

- Temporary shelter (tapauline sheets): 4,000 pieces

- Medical supply (medicine for dysentery, Cholera and malaria)

- Rain water collection tanks: 1,000 pieces

- Clothes and blankets for 18,000 people

4. The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement is currently assessing the damage and needs in the affected area in cooperation with the UN Country team. The Ministry is the focal point to coordinate the relief efforts and will distribute relief items to the affected people.

International Response

5. The UN Country team (UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF and WFP) had a meeting yesterday to coordinate support to national relief efforts. The immediate assistance to be provided by UN agencies is as follows:

- WFP: Rice bags for 3,700 affected families (50 kg per family) (worth USD 35,000) and "food for work" for a period of three months

- UNHCR: Cash grant of USD 25,000 for relief items

- UNDP: Relief items (worth USD 50,000)

- UNICEF: Medicines for dysentery and cholera, Corrugated sheets for roofing of schools and 3,000 latrines slabs and medicine for Malaria (worth USD15,000)

- OCHA: Emergency cash grants of USD 50,000 (USD 25,000 from its own sources and USD 25,000 from the Norwegian pre-positioned funds)

6. The immediate assistance by UN agencies amounts to USD 175,000, which makes the current shortfall for the Government USD 45,000. However, the sectoral assessment by the UNCT is still under process and the details will be available in a day or two.

7. In addition to the relief items specified in the paragraph 3, UNICEF is prepared to provide 1,300 corrugated iron sheets for temporary roofing of homes health centers and schools, pursuant to the Government's further request.

8. OCHA is in close contact with the UN Resident Coordinator's office in Yangon will revert with further information, as it becomes available.

9. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int

MAP - Myanmar: Storm - Situation map

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officer:
Mr. Soichi Nakajima, Direct Tel. +41-22-917 4034

Press contact:
(GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(N.Y.) Ms. Stephanie Bunker, direct Tel. +1-212-963 87 40

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.