At least 3 people are dead and thousands more have been forced to seek shelter as Category 5 Cyclone Mocha made landfall Sunday afternoon, bringing sustained winds of 175 miles per hour and gusts as high as 200 mph. The UN has expressed concern for the already vulnerable refugee populations living in the low-lying areas in the storm’s path, as tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees are being kept behind barbed wire fences and security checkpoints, in camps 2 meters below sea level, near Sittwe, which was directly hit by the storm.

The severity of the storm matches 2019’s Cyclone Fani as the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the North Indian Ocean.Climate change has been linked to both the occurrence and frequency of rapidly intensifying storms in ocean basins, which may be due to warming ocean and air temperatures. (AP, NBC News, BBC, Reuters, CNN, Yale Climate Connections, Axios, Washington Post $; Climate Signals; Cyclones)