Monday, November 1, 2010

Hundreds of Chin Families Among Cyclone Giri-hit Victims

 (Chinland Guardian): At least 2,000 Chin families are among those seriously affected victims in worst-hit areas of Burma's Arakan State including Kyaukphyu, Myebon, Sittway, Pauktaw, Myanaung, Ann and Ponnagyun towns after Cyclone Giri hit the western coast last Friday on 22 October 2010.

One Christian pastor from Mro-Khami Chin tribe based in Myebon Town said: "The town as well as the nearby villages are in the dark, chaotic and ruined. Almost all the houses are destroyed either completely or partially, with no electricity, no running water, no food and no communication."

At least 5 church buildings from Kyaukphyu, Myebon and Sittway towns are completely wrecked, according to a Mizo Christian pastor who has been serving as an EFCM (Evangelical Free Church of Myanmar) missionary in Rakhine State for more than ten years.

It is estimated that about 300,000 Chin people live scattering across Arakan State.

Most of the Cyclone-hit areas of Kyaukphyu, Myebon and Sittway towns are mainly populated by Chin people of different sub-tribes including Asho, Sungtu, Laitu, Kawngtu, Hmyo and Mro-Khami.

Relief workers said that the death toll, which has topped 100, is still likely to be increasing with many more missing. More than 80 bodies have been found in Myebon Town alone where hundreds of buildings were flattened.

To date, a total of 71 villages are reported to have been affected, to various degrees, with an estimated 177,000 people affected, of which an estimated 10,000 are considered severely affected, according to the humanitarian community in Burma.

The Christian pastors based in the Cyclone-affected areas of Arakan State ask Chin churches and Christian friends around the world to pray for the Cyclone-hit victims who are in dire need of emergency help, foods and shelters.

The United States Government on Tuesday pledged a 100,000 dollar aid package toward assisting victims of Cyclone Giri in Arakan State.