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    Myanmar and Bangladesh Affected by Cyclone Mocha

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    Cyclone Mocha hit Myanmar and southeastern Bangladesh with strong winds and a storm surge. Although nearly one million Rohingya refugees were housed in makeshift camps, only 400-500 shelters were damaged in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar. Some residents living in homes made of tarpaulin and bamboo expressed concern about flooding if the tide rises. However, the Bangladesh authorities had evacuated 750,000 people ahead of the storm, and there were no immediate reports of casualties.

    In Myanmar, communications with the port town of Sittwe were almost entirely cut off after the storm. Streets in Sittwe turned into rivers, and buildings lost their corrugated iron roofs. The Myanmar Red Cross Society said it was “preparing for a major emergency response.” Myanmar’s junta released a statement from the national weather office late Sunday noting that Cyclone Mocha had moved north towards Chin state. It made no mention of damages or casualties.

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    Cyclones are a regular threat on the coast of the northern Indian Ocean, where tens of millions of people live. Cyclone Nargis devastated Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Delta in 2008, killing at least 138,000 people. Scientists have warned that storms are becoming more powerful as the world gets warmer because of climate change.

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