Tropical cyclone Mocha hitting northwestern Myanmar
Published: May 15, 2023 02:07 PM
Volunteers help people evacuate as Cyclone Mocha crosses the coastal Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, May 14, 2023. (Xinhua)

Volunteers help people evacuate as Cyclone Mocha crosses the coastal Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, May 14, 2023. (Xinhua)

Extremely severe cyclonic storm Mocha which made landfall on Sunday afternoon was moving inland from the Bay of Bengal, according to Myanmar's Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.

Local authorities said that their emergency response teams were in cooperation with local rescue teams conducting rescue operations in the cyclone-hit areas.

They said that they have deployed 10 emergency rescue teams and 112 vehicles carrying food, drinking water and rescue equipment in Rakhine State, and its nearest regions and states on Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands of people in Rakhine State were already evacuated ahead of the cyclone, local media reported.

The extremely severe cyclonic storm moving northwards and northeastwards is forecast to hit Chin State and Magway Region on late Sunday, according the weather bureau.

The weather agency also forecast that the storm will cross Sagaing Region as a cyclonic storm on Monday before weakening into a depression.

The cyclone Mocha that hit the coastlines of Bangladesh and Myanmar on Sunday with winds of up to 130 mph (about 209 kph) ripped away tin roofs and uprooted trees in the townships in Rakhine State.

The tropical cyclone with strong winds and intense rains damaged buildings in the townships of Sittwe, Thandwe, Gwa, Kyaukphyu and Cocokyun in Myanmar, local media reported.

A 30-year-old woman was killed by a falling tree during the cyclone in Rakhine State, a witness posted on social media on Sunday.

Electricity and Internet connections were disrupted in many parts of Sittwe, the capital city of Rakhine State, on Sunday afternoon, following the collapse of a telecom tower in Sittwe. The telecom tower was brought down by strong winds, a video footage showed.

A building in Thandwe airport in Rakhine State collapsed because of the cyclone. Streets in Sittwe were also flooded and the floors of many buildings were inundated, local media reported.

The weather bureau warned of heavy rains across the Southeast Asian country in next 24 hours due to cyclone Mocha.

The two towns of Chauk and Sinphyukyun in central Myanmar's Magway Region also experienced the heaviest single-day rainfalls in 55 years and 50 years, respectively, on Sunday, according to the weather agency.

"The rainfalls are very high because of the storm," U Hla Tun, director of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, told Xinhua on Sunday.

People were urged to be aware of heavy rains, landslides and storm surge, the weather agency said.

All the fishing boats, trawlers and maritime vessels were already advised to remain in shelter till further notice, it said.

Cyclone Mocha came after towns in Myanmar have experienced record-high temperatures amid a scorching heatwave in the past few days.

The extremely severe cyclone, which is the first to form in the Bay of Bengal this year, is said to be the strongest to hit the region in recent years.