Myanmar: Tropical Cyclone Amphan - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) (DREF MDRMM013)

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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster At 12:30 on 16 May 2020, the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) informed that the low-pressure front had formed in Southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining Southwest Bay of Bengal where it was expected to intensify into severe cyclone category. On 18 May 2020 according to DMH information at 13:30 local time, the system strengthened to super cyclonic storm with intensity of category 5 (wind speed of over 155 mph), heading towards eastern India and Bangladesh. The indirect impact is expected in Myanmar on 20 May 2020. Specific areas will most likely be impacted are coastal areas by grave storm-surge of Myanmar, and where heavy rainfall and strong wind to Rakhine, upper Sagaing, Magwe and Chin State. Rakhine (Maungdaw, Sittwe) and Upper Sagaing (Homalin) may receive 4-8 inch of accumulated rainfall during 19-21 May.

The border area of Myanmar is Rakhine which is one of the most disaster‐prone areas of Myanmar. In previous years, 60 per cent of the storms occurred in Rakhine coastal area, 30 per cent in Delta areas and 10% in Tanintharyi coastal area. Flooding, landslides and storm surges adversely affect people and their livelihoods, including displacement risks. Cyclone Nargis (2008) affected 2,4 million people, causing 84,500 fatalities. Cyclone Giri (2010) affected 260,000 people with 45 deaths and 100,000 left homeless. Cyclone Komen (2015) caused 55 deaths. Mora (2017) affected 150,000 people with two deaths. In 2020 and with Tropical Cyclone (TC) Amphan approaching, the combined impact of the cyclone and/or floods with COVID-19 as well existing levels of armed conflict (in central and northern areas) create an overall ‘critical’ scale of risk for the vulnerable population in the concerned areas of the borderline

Severe weather warning for heavy rainfalls and flash flooding, including possible landslides are expected in Rakhine, Sagaing and Chin states based on DMH forecasts. People and sea going vessels are advised not to go out in the sea during the passage of TC. Despite accurate forecasts available, TC Amphan (category 5) landfall track uncertain. Currently, the models show mostly northward-northeast track for TC Amphan, with a landfall occurring in the morning of Wednesday 20 May in Eastern India-Bangladesh. TC Amphan could top out as a category 5 storm with 100 mph winds by Tuesday, or even higher. As already category 5, the indirect impact still for Northern part of Myanmar is high, even with current existing trajectory and category above. By that time of the landfall and moving forward, there is likelihood of sustained wind speed 40 mph in northern Rakhine whereas 25-35 miles in the delta areas and in Magwe area (likelihood of tornadoes) expected forming fast (DMH).