BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Rights groups have urged the Myanmar government to immediately evacuate displaced Muslims to higher ground as a cyclone approaches western Rakhine state. The alert comes as a boat carrying 100 stateless Muslim Rohingya capsized late Monday.
Cyclone Mahasen, a tropical storm brewing in the Indian Ocean, is anticipated to make landfall near Chittagong, Bangladesh, late Thursday or early Friday, but high winds and rain are expected to also affect Rakhine state, said the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
“There are additional concerns over the potential impact of the heavy rains on Chin state in Myanmar which could lead to landslides and flooding. The weather in Myanmar has already deteriorated making boat travel difficult for the assessments and evacuations during the preparedness phase,” said OCHA’s latest report.