A powerful unseasonal storm swept through Kalegauk Island in Ye Township, Mon State Myanmar on January 8, 2019, causing damage to more than 300 of 500 homes.
Members of the state who traveled to the island to inspect the damage said the storm hit around 07:40 local time and lasted only about 15 minutes. However, the damage it caused was huge and locals said this is the first time they experienced such storm damage.
“We found houses, schools, electricity poles and monasteries destroyed. When we were there, locals were still compiling a list of the houses which were damaged,” Nai Aung Naing Oo, vice house speaker of the local parliament told The Irrawaddy.
The storm downed trees and power poles, damaging at least 300 homes. 50 of them completely collapsed, but there were no injuries reported.
“We first saw red [in the sky] near our village. Then it became dark and the storm hit our village,” Nai Taung Shein, chairman of Kalegauk Island told Mon Era News. “It only lasted 15 minutes but it destroyed a lot,” he added.
Local media said that Mon community leaders, including Buddhist monks, formed a committee to organize aid for the victims.
Featured image credit: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS. Acquired January 8, 2019