Boat carrying more than 200 Rohingya Muslims capsized off in the western Myanmar; they were evacuating ahead of Cyclone Mahasen, expected to hit this region in this week.
The boat struck on rocks in Pauktaw Township in Rakhine State and sank on Monday. Said by Barbara Manzi, UN office head in Myanmar stands for the coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
She said about the missing of an unknown number. More than 40 survivors were found and eight bodies recovered.
Rakhine is a temporary shelter for thousands of Rohingya Muslims and they have been staying there as the result of the violent clashes between Rakhine’s Muslim and Buddhist communities in June and October 2012.
The immediate evacuation is followed by the UN information ahead of violent storm, as they were lived in the low-lying coastal areas and expected flood or tidal surges.
A military Intelligence official said to Reuters, “the incident happened on midnight and at least 50 people were drowned”.
Kirsten Mildren, a spokeswoman to OCHA in Bangkok, stated that, one engine boat towing two smaller wooden boats without engines. Approximately 100 and 150 people were carried in to three vessels.
Evacuation was a part of Government decision, but carried out not in government boats, they were moving from low-lying pace to safer place. Kristen said. As per the earlier reports, 200 people were on board, but the revised report from the UN was about 100.
Burmese authorities started evacuations in this week after the alerts of cyclone might hit Bangladesh from Thursday and bringing heavy rain and flood to this region.
The expected storm Mahasen, a tropical depression, anticipated to strengthen in to cyclone.
According to the forecast from the Joint Warning Centre, under US Navy, the storm expected to make a heavy landfall on Chittagong in Bangladesh before it moving to neighbor region Myanmar.
Myanmar, cyclone threatens region, was a camp of 140,000 victims of the religious and ethnic unrest. The United Nations warned, if they would not evacuate immediately, they will face “Humanitarian catastrophe”.
UN report says, about 69,000 people stayed there, majority of them are Rohingya Muslims, living at the risk of flood and other disaster during the rainy season, which starts this month and continues until September. Meanwhile, Mahasen could be a life threatening situation.
Nasa says, on Monday Mahasen was in North East of Srilanka, and it was expected to strengthen and hit on Burma.
Written By: Bindu Jacob