Tropical Cyclone Giri made landfall in western Burma’s Rakhine state yesterday, Friday 22 October. Christian Aid, Caritas, and their partners in Burma (Myanmar) are closely monitoring the situation and are ready to mount a response if it is needed.
Hurricane strength winds of up to 100 mph have affected thousands of people in Kyakpyu and nearby islands. Wind speeds of up to 50 mph have been reported around the city of Sittwe.
Authorities and non-governmental organisations are trying to establish the numbers of people affected but at least 1.4 million are located within the cyclone’s path, with 24,000 people living less than five metres above sea level.
It has been reported that the Burmese regime has set up several rescue camps.
State radio and television announcements warned communities of the impending storm in the 24 hours before the cyclone hit.
After the devastation caused by cyclone Nargis in 2008, households were reportedly nervous as the cyclone approached, but were better prepared to move to safety than in the past.
Christian Aid and Caritas partners in Burma have asked supporters to keep the people affected by Cyclone Giri in Rakhine state in their thoughts and prayers.