International Reconnecting Families Bulletin: Cyclone Komen in Myanmar

During the last two weeks of July, heavy rains have caused floods and landslides in numerous parts of Myanmar. Cyclone Komen, which made landfall in Bangladesh on July 30th, brought strong winds and heavy rains, resulting in floods in several states and regions of the country. On the last day of July, the government of Myanmar declared Chin state, Sagaing region, Magway region and Rakhine state natural disaster zones. The floods have disrupted transportation, communications and electricity, which caused challenges in accessing the affected population.

The Government of Myanmar is leading the response in different parts of the country. The Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are coordinating their efforts, as part of a Movement response, assessing the needs as multidisciplinary teams in the most affected townships.

Reconnecting Families needs, capacity and Movement response:

Access has proven difficult, however the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS), in coordination with International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has mobilized its Restoring Family Links (RFL) network and is now accepting disaster inquiries. MRCS confirmed that people are gradually returning to their homes, as the water is receding. Communication lines are beginning to function in many areas.  Many evacuations were organized, which resulted in fewer RFL needs.  To date, there have been no reports of missing persons or unaccompanied minors from the areas assessed.

How to initiate an inquiry:

If you have lost contact with a loved one in the affected areas due to Cyclone Komen, the Red Cross may be able to help you reconnect. To initiate your search, please contact your local chapter. You can also start your search online by clicking here.  

If your inquiry concerns a U.S. citizen, please contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747.

To learn more about the reconnecting families work of the American Red Cross, please visit redcross.org/reconnectingfamilies.