© 2024 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

A cyclone in southern Asia is threatening one of the world's largest refugee camps


Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes in Bangladesh and Myanmar ahead of a tropical cyclone there.


RASCOE: That's the sound of wind gusts, some of which have been clocked at 135 miles an hour from what's been named Cyclone Mocha. The massive storm made landfall today, and it's also threatening one of the world's largest refugee camps. More than 800,000 people live in makeshift homes in the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh, on the site of what was a nature preserve. Many of the people there are Rohingya from Myanmar who fled armed attacks in 2017, what the U.N. described as a coordinated campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Kutupalong is also home to endangered Asian elephants. Only a few hundred live in the wild in Bangladesh, and the close quarters with hundreds of thousands of refugees there has resulted in fatal encounters as the elephants follow instinctive routes now filled with desperate people living in bamboo huts. Known as hurricanes or typhoons in other parts of the world, cyclones can be some of the world's most devastating natural disasters. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ayesha Rascoe is a White House correspondent for NPR. She is currently covering her third presidential administration. Rascoe's White House coverage has included a number of high profile foreign trips, including President Trump's 2019 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, and President Obama's final NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland in 2016. As a part of the White House team, she's also a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast.