FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM
Cyclone Mocha death toll rises
The death toll from Cyclone Mocha has risen to 455, the National Unity Government (NUG) stated. At least 431 bodies have been recovered in Rakhine State. But the true number of those killed by the storm may not be known for several days. Fifteen bodies were recovered in Magway Region, while the remaining nine were from other states and regions impacted by the storm. Regime media reported 48 killed by Cyclone Mocha with a total number of 44,928 houses, 435 religious buildings, 439 schools, 59 hospitals and clinics, and 11 telecom towers damaged or destroyed.
US to provide humanitarian assistance
The U.S. will provide $200,000 USD to support relief efforts in Rakhine and Chin states in the aftermath of Cyclone Mocha, the U.S. Embassy in Yangon stated. The funds will help provide shelters, water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance. “The U.S. government is working with partners on the ground to evaluate impact and priority needs,” stated the embassy.
Arakan Army thankful for donations
The Arakan Army (AA) released a statement – signed by Major General Twan Mrat Naing – thanking the NUG, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) for their donations to its Cyclone Mocha relief efforts in Rakhine State. The NUG and MNDAA donated K100 million ($47,671 USD) each. The KIO gave K300 million ($143,000).
NUG convicts two for shooting PDF officer
An NUG court sentenced two GZ Special Task Force members to 10 years in prison on May 9. They were convicted of the attempted murder of a People’s Defense Force (PDF) officer who was shot by the GZ in Sar Taung Gyi village, Watlet Township of Sagaing Region in February 2023. The NUG arrested 19 GZ members. Seventeen were later released. The NUG has issued an arrest warrant for the GZ commander. The NUG judge told Myanmar Now that the two GZ members could have been jailed for 20 years but that they were following orders. One of the men’s wives said she will appeal the conviction. The NUG will allow the two prisoners to receive visitors from “family members that can be trusted.”
News by Region
KACHIN—The Burma Army arrested 15 people in Nanyar village, located beside Hpakant-Myitkyina Road, to allegedly use as human shields. “They forcibly entered homes and arrested 15 people. They think the Kachin Independence Army will not attack in the presence of civilians,” a local said. The families of those arrested, including children, teenagers, and women, have lost contact with them.
MANDALAY—Nandaw, Gangaw and Myodaw private hospitals were shut down on May 18 for allegedly hiring healthcare personnel who had participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). “According to the military statement, they shut down three hospitals. It is affecting civilians. This is a threat for people not to give opportunities to CDM workers,” said a CDM doctor.
RAKHINE—Sittwe residents are having difficulties accessing clean drinking water in the aftermath of Cyclone Mocha. “There has been a shortage of drinking water in the villages since two days before the storm. We have to wait a very long time in line to get clean water. Getting drinking water is very important,” a resident told DVB. Many areas of Sittwe are still without power. “We can not use water generators as there is no electricity yet. We are quite troubled,” another resident expressed.
At least 13 people were killed by Cyclone Mocha in Done Paik village of Maungdaw Township. “There were 13 people who died after a brick wall collapsed. We carried the bodies to the hospital on May 17. We are still documenting the death toll,” a local told DVB. Aid groups have not been allowed to visit disaster-affected areas. “The government has not yet allowed NGOs to enter, and the World Food Program cannot help as well. People are starving and are facing difficulties,” said another local.
SAGAING—A civilian was wounded in an airstrike on Chaung Ma village of Kanni Township May 17. Houses and a monastery were also damaged. “At first, a fighter jet shot near a monastery which is far from the houses. The other fighter jet shot inside the forest between the village and a pagoda,” said a local man.
More than 50,000 residents in Kanbalu District have been displaced due to military attacks, Kyunhla-Kanbalu Activist group stated. Local aid groups claimed that the increasing number of displaced persons has created more demand for food, shelter, medicine and antivenom for snake-bites.
YANGON—The prices of basic commodities have not yet returned to normal post-Cyclone Mocha. “Prices rose before the storm, and it increased more after the storm too,” a Sanchaung Township resident told DVB. Price gouging has also been reported in disaster-affected areas such as Rakhine State.
DVB reports on post-Cyclone Mocha recovery efforts as local rescue teams clear debris and fallen trees from streets. DVB English is on-demand via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok & Substack.