Via The Irrawaddy: 35 Dead in Arakan State After Cyclone Komen Drowns Coast. Excerpt and then a comment:
At least 35 people have died due to recent flooding in western Burma’s Arakan State alone, according to the state’s information department, as the cumulative death toll continues to rise across the country’s inundated central plain.
Arakan State Information Department Director Hla Thein told The Irrawaddy on Monday that dozens are known to have died and six people are still unaccounted for in the northern reaches of the state, near the border with Bangladesh.
“The numbers will change later because we are still investigating,” Hla Thein said on Monday afternoon.
Cyclone Komen narrowly missed the state when it made landfall late last week, though the storm dropped heavy rainfall on the impoverished state. The full extent of the damage has not yet been assessed as disparate numbers of dead and displaced roll in.
In a Facebook post on Monday afternoon, Hla Thein said a total of 5,979 houses had been damaged and more than 7,000 paddy fields destroyed. Dozens of schools and monasteries throughout the state were also greatly destroyed.
Mrauk U resident Maung Chay said his relatives had rushed to nearby Than Thayar village to assist those whose houses had been completely submerged. According to his relatives, “Than Thayar village was underwater and only a few people are still alive.”
Further north in Kyauktaw Township, which is home to a number of remote camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), thousands remained at risk as rescuers struggled to provide emergency medical care and food.
More than 100,000 IDPs have been displaced since inter-communal violence broke out between the state’s Buddhist and Muslim communities in 2012, most of them stateless Rohingya Muslims who are still confined to the camps.
“Food shortages are the main problem,” said Dr. Tun Aye, who has been coordinating deliveries to about 10 camps and several nearby villages whose supplies had been drowned and spoiled by the downpour. He estimated that between 60 and 80 villages had suffered serious damages to crops and stored foodstuffs.
“It will be terribly difficult to return to normal, everything was ruined within a few hours,” he said.
This is just one of numerous flood reports in The Irrawaddy. The public health consequences are obvious, and I'll try to follow this story in coming days.