Ramree Island is located off the cost of Arakan State, Burma (also known as Rakhine State, Myanmar). Strategically placed at the tip of the Bay of Bengal, Ramree Island was famously thought over during WW2 by the British and the Japanese. More recently it is the location for a Deep Sea Port, pipeline and train line linking the Indian Ocean to China.
The island is also known by Yangbye or Yanbye Island.
- Land area: 1350 km² (521mi²)
- Estimated population: 400,000
- Main town: Kyaukpyu (50,000 residents)
- State: Rakhine State
- Airport: Kyaukpyu (IATA: KYP, ICAO: VYKP)
Battle of Ramree Island
The Battle of Ramree Island took place here for six weeks during January and February 1945, as part of the British Fourteenth Army 1944/45 offensive on the Southern Front of the Burma Campaign during World War II. Ramree island is also the place credited with “The Greatest Disaster Suffered [by humans] from Animals”. An estimated 400 Japanese soldiers were forced into the marshes surrounding the island as the British soldiers closed in. Waiting for these soldiers were very large and aggressive saltwater crocodiles. After the Japanese infantry was forced into the murky waters, the ensuing night was so horrific that Guinness World Records lists Ramree island with this dubious title.
Read more on the Battle of Ramree Island.
Tropical Cyclone Giri
In October 2010, Ramree Island was hit by Tropical Cyclone Giri. At least 3 people died and thousands were made homeless as a result of extensive damage to the island. Villages on Ramree Island, as well as the island’s major town of Kyaukpyu, suffered severe damage after Cyclone Giri hit with winds of up to 160 km (100 miles) per hour and waves as high as 3.6 meters (12 feet).
Read more on the history of Ramree Island.
Ramree Island is the location of a gas and oil pipeline built on the Indian Ocean coast to the province of Yunnan in China. From a deep water port in Kyaukpyu on Ramree Island, oil from the Middle East and gas from Burma’s ocean coast, respectively, are transported through the pipelines to China.
The pipelines will enable China to rely less on ocean-transported oil and gas through the treacherous Strait of Malacca and will also cut two weeks off the potential transport time. The pipeline transport fees will be a source of revenue for the Burma government, on top of the sale of the gas. Construction began in January 2008 and the gas pipeline was declared fully operational in October 2013 .
Read more on Kyaukpyu deep sea port.