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Source: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

With the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Myanmar Red Cross Society is preparing for a major emergency response as Cyclone Mochaheads across the Bay of Bengal, threatening to pound communities along the Bangladesh-Myanmar coasts.

Based on current predictions, Cyclone Mocha is expected to bring heavy rainfall, strong winds of over 150 km per hour, and storm surges of over two metres when it makes landfall within the next 24 hours.  It is expected to affect northern parts of the country, including Rakhine and Chin states, as well as Magway and Sagaing regions further inland and the Ayeyarwaddy Delta Region further south. The identified impact area in Rakhine is low-lying and highly prone to flooding, with hundreds of thousands of people living in precarious conditions. Heavy rains and strong winds are later expected to hit inland communities in the Northwest, also exposed to flooding and landslides. Across Rakhine and the Northwest combined, about six million people are in need of humanitarian assistance due to the ongoing humanitarian situation in Myanmar, and 1.2 million people are displaced. Cyclone Mocha is expected to further impact the vulnerable populations in those areas and trigger further displacement.

IFRC is supporting Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) to scale up disaster and risk management measures to support affected communities along cyclone Mocha’s path, working closely with sister National Societies and the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) regarding areas of conflict. IFRC and partners are on standby to provide strategic, operational, financial, technical and other support, including for early action to aid needs assessment and support vulnerable families with their immediate and medium-term needs.

“Disaster preparedness begins long before any emergency. Myanmar Red Cross, through its network of local township branches and its trained and dedicated volunteers, has mobilized resources, stocks and staff and volunteers, ready to respond. There will be important needs in terms of emergency housing, access to safe drinking water and hygiene, and attending to the displaced, while ensuring a protection and community engagement and accountability lens in the response.  Access to trusted information, helping to reunite families that have been separated and referrals for specialized services will be key.  IFRC and its partners continue to support the Myanmar Red Cross actively, in coordination with the wider humanitarian community.  We can expect a significant humanitarian response, and contributions to support the efforts of the Myanmar Red Cross will be much appreciated. ”, Nadia Khoury, IFRC Head of Delegation in Myanmar, highlights.

The MRCS has activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) at the central level and in Rakhine State and Ayeryawaddy Region. Over 700 Red Cross volunteers from Rakhine, Ayeyarwaddy, and regions expected to be affected have been trained to provide immediate assistance to the community. An average of 20 Red Cross volunteers from each branch of coastal townships are ready to respond. They have been mobilized nationwide to share early warning messages, help communities prepare, and support evacuations where needed.

About IFRC  

IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian network, comprising 192 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies working to save lives, build community resilience, strengthen localization and promote dignity around the world.