Myanmar port city cut off in Cyclone Mocha aftermath


A major Myanmar port city remained cut off from contact on Monday after a cyclone tore through the west of the country and neighbouring Bangladesh where it spared sprawling refugee camps.

Cyclone Mocha made landfall between Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh and Myanmar’s Sittwe packing winds of up to 195 kilometres (120 miles) per hour, in the biggest storm to hit the Bay of Bengal in over a decade.

By late Sunday the storm had largely passed, sparing refugee camps housing almost a million Rohingya in Bangladesh, where officials said there had been no deaths.

Communications with Sittwe, home to around 150,000 people, and which bore the brunt of the storm according to cyclone trackers, were still down on Monday.


The road to the city was littered with trees, pylons and power cables, AFP correspondents said, with vehicles full of rescuers and locals trying to reach the town and their relatives forming queues.

“We drove all the way through the cyclone Sunday and cut trees and pushed away pylons… but then the big trees blocked the road,” an ambulance driver trying to reach Sittwe told AFP.

He and others were using a chainsaw to cut through branches of trees blocking the road.

The storm crashed ashore on Sunday, bringing a storm surge and high winds that toppled a communications tower in state capital Sittwe, according to images published on social media.