Myanmar’s Cyclone Maarutha Dissipates, Claiming Three Lives

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Cyclone Maarutha, which hit Myanmar on Sunday night, has dissipated, leaving a trail of flooding and destruction in its wake.

According to Reliefweb, the cyclone claimed three casualties in the Irrawaddy Division in Myanmar. Two women from Labutta Township were electrocuted, while one person was killed in Hinthada Township, due to unknown reasons. Additionally, there was extensive damage to property, including more than a hundred buildings that had their roofs blown away.

Although the cyclone is considered mild relative to others such as Cyclone Nargis, which hit Myanmar in 2008, Maarutha marks the beginning of the tropical cyclone season in the northern hemisphere. Authorities are still staying on the alert and will continue to monitor situation until mid-May.

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In this instance, the situation in Myanmar was helped due to adequate early-warning indicators of the cyclone, leading to better preparedness on the ground.

Said U Kyaw Moe Oo, deputy director general of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) to Reliefweb, “There was not a high number of casualties as the cyclone’s wind speed was not strong enough and also awareness and experience of storms have increased.”

“As there were quick updates from both state and private media, the news about the storms informed people well and could have helped reduce the damage,” he added.

Numerous organizations are continuing to monitor the rainfall caused by Maarutha, including NASA and JAXA. Using their shared Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission satellite, they began monitoring the cyclone on April 15, two days before it fell on the Rakhine Coast in Western Myanmar.

Updates can still be found at the US’ Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) as well as Cyclocane, a website that tracks tropical storms around the world.


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