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A desperate thirst

June 11, 2015 11:07 IST
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Reuters photographer Soe Zeya Tun captures the plight of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants who were rescued off Myanmar's southern coast last week from a boat carrying 734 people through these moving images.

Months have gone with little water and food for them. Everyone was dirty and had likely washed little while at sea. And then the sky opened up…

 

A group of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants from a boat carrying 734 people were rescued off Myanmar's southern coast last week. Those on board had been at sea for more than two months, at the end with little food or water. 

The men in this photo were part of a group of 400 crammed into a warehouse by Myanmar police. They had arrived the day before, but while the women, children and some men had already been moved, these men were left behind.

 
Just moments before this shot, the sky opened up and the monsoon rains started coming down. The men were jostling with each other for space to catch water in their bottles and plates, recalls  photographer Soe Zeya Tun.

 

There was no sign of the United Nations refugee agency or foreign aid agencies.

"I could see just how meaningful it was for them to suddenly have a chance to drink and clean themselves with whatever small amount of water they could capture. Every drop was precious," says Tun.



The men were later loaded into buses and trucks and driven to a camp where international aid agencies were waiting. The migrants reach for bags of food as they sit at the back of a truck while being sent to Mee Tike temporary refugee camp located near the Bangladesh border fence, at Kanyin Chaung jetty outside Maungdaw township, northern Rakhine state, Myanmar on June 4.



They crowd in the back of a truck before they are sent to Mee Tike temporary refugee camp located near the Bangladesh border fence.

 

Migrants arrive at Mee Tike temporary refugee camp outside the Maungdaw township, northern Rakhine state, Myanmar.

An identity number tag hangs around the neck of a migrant.

 

A migrant, who was found at sea on a boat, sits on a bus as she is moved to Taung Pyo.

 

A migrant, who was found at sea on a boat, sits on a bus as she is moved to Taung Pyo sub-township after landing near Kanyin Chaung jetty outside Maungdaw township.

A Myanmar military officer gestures from a boat packed with migrants off Leik Island in the Andaman Sea, May 31.

Photographs: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters

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