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

AYESHA RASCOE, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF WIND BLOWING)

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
Ayesha Rascoe is the host of Weekend Edition Sunday and the Saturday episodes of Up First. As host of the morning news magazine, she interviews news makers, entertainers, politicians and more about the stories that everyone is talking about or that everyone should be talking about.