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Indian ship delivers aid for cyclone victims

Crew of the INS Sumitra pose for a picture at Thilawa port near Rangoon on 6 June 2017. (PHOTO: DVB)

An Indian naval vessel carrying tons of relief supplies for victims of last week’s cyclone disaster in western Burma docked yesterday in the port of Thilawa, near Rangoon.

The humanitarian aid “included food, drinking water, clothes and medicine,” according to a statement from the Indian embassy in Burma, adding that the ship shall remain in the port until 8 June.

Cyclone Mora wreaked havoc on Burma’s west coast in the early hours of 30 May, leaving a trail of destruction across Arakan and Chin states and parts of the Irrawaddy Delta. But despite the material losses, there were no reports of deaths.

The cyclone made landfall in the Arakanese towns of Sittwe, Myebon, Minbya and Kyaukphyu, flattening trees and tearing the rooftops off many houses.

According to a statement from Burma’s Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, some 20,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by Mora. Maungdaw was the most severely affected area, it said.

Burma’s western coast is no stranger to cyclones and tropical storms which gather pace in the Bay of Bengal, and seasonally batter the coastlines of Burma, Bangladesh and India.

In May 2008, Burma witnessed its most tragic ever disaster when Cyclone Nargis ravaged the Irrawaddy Delta, leaving up to 140,000 dead and some two million homeless.