Storm-Hit Villagers Still Struggling in Chin State
08 May 2012: Dozens of families in southern parts of Chin State are still struggling to rebuild their lives in the ‘devastating’ aftermath of a tropical storm that destroyed houses last month.
Over 60 households in Khengsanu of Paletwa Township are left with no shelters after the village was hit hard by strong winds on 7 April 2012.
Pu Bu Thang, village chairman, said: “We haven’t got any help so far from the government or any other organizations. Even no one seems to know about the recent natural disaster. We are surviving by helping and sharing each other on our own.”
“As our village [Khengsanu] is very far away from the main towns of Paletwa, Matupi, Mindat and Kanpetlet, it is very difficult to report our situation to the government admin offices,” added the Dai-Chin village chairman.
A total of 9 houses were completely destroyed, with the rest of the village being severely or partly ruined, according to Pu Bu Thang.
Some homeless families are known to have been temporarily staying in the school building while others share houses, which are also partly damaged by the storm.
A local witness from Mindat town said: “The whole village was chaotic. Children were crying, adults were shouting and domestic animals were screaming and running here and there as the wind blew for almost an hour.”
Located in the interior part of southern Chin State, Khengsanu is about 4 to 5 days’ walk from Paletwa, Mindat, Matupi and Kanpetlet towns as the remote village is not accessible by car.
Early last month, more than 140 houses were also destroyed by a tropical storm in Thantlang and Tedim townships of Chin State.
Reporting by Jeremy Hoipang