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5/15/2023 Myanmar (International Christian Concern)Early reports suggest extensive damage after one of the strongest cyclones to ever hit Myanmar made landfall this weekend. Cyclone Mocha slammed into the northwestern coast of Myanmar, off the Bay of Bengal, on Sunday with 195mph winds.  

The coastal state of Rakhine has suffered the worst of the storm, even as it is already one of the most conflict-ridden regions in the ongoing battle between Myanmar’s ruling military junta and pro-democracy grassroots forces.  

Across Rakhine and in the northwest of the country, about 6 million people were already in desperate need of humanitarian assistance due to the conflict. Around 1.2 million were already displaced. 

According to U.N. resident coordinator, Ramanathan Balakrishnan, “For a cyclone to hit an area where there is already such deep humanitarian need is a nightmare scenario, impacting hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people whose coping capacity has been severely eroded by successive crises.” 

People in western Myanmar began seeking shelter on Friday in anticipation of the powerful cyclone. Around 400,000 people were evacuated from the area the storm was expected to hit. Cyclones, which are the equivalent of hurricanes in the Atlantic, are a frequent and deadly occurrence on the coast of the northern Indian Ocean.  

Please pray for those suffering from violence and natural disasters in Myanmar.

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