Probable Mahasen assault: Only few refugees shifted to safer places in Sittwe

( Sittwe, 13 May 2013): As a cyclone is formed in the Bay of Bengal that might hit the western Burma, the authority has shifted many refugee families from the camps in  Sittwe to a safer place. However, the eye witnesses from the Arakan  capital city claimed that the number of shifted refugees would be very less.

refugees“Only small number of internal refugees, now taking shelter in the camps of Sittwe, has been sent to safer locations to avoid the cyclone Mahasen’s assault,” revealed the Arakan State authority.

Speaking to Narinjara News,  U Win Myaint, a spokesperson of Arakan province government admitted that the shifted Muslim families would ‘not too much’.

Soon after a local FM radio, Pyisawaddy, issued warning of Mahasen in the Bay of Bengal on Sunday, the authority pre-empted the probable cyclone attack in the area and decided to shift few refugee families. But till date the number of shifted refugees would be very less, as the authority has not much resources, added Win Myaint.

It is understood that there are nearly 120000 internal refugees taking shelter in various camps of Arakan State after last year’s sectarian violence, out of which few hundreds of refugees have been moved to safer locations.

The spokesperson has however denied any statistics about the number of shifted refugee families and also the location of new shelter homes.

The authority has also taken the pain to train the internal refuges and also the local residents how to escape in the time of a cyclonic attack.

The cyclone Mahasen is forecast to reach the Burma-Bangladesh border areas on Thursday morning. The concerned Burma Met officials observed that the cyclone is presently moving towards west targeting India’s Chennai coast, but it might change the direction and finally hit back on the Burma border in the east.

Narinjara News also contacted a local administrator in Thae Chung village located at suburban areas of Sittwe capital city, who confirmed about the presence of few refugee camps in their locality.

Of course, the administrator Thae Chung revealed that the weather in their areas remain almost normal till Monday morning. So the local authority has not shown much seriousness to shift the refugees to other places. But even if it wants, Thae Chung asserted, the authority can not do much because of scarcity of accommodations needed for all the internal refugees there.