Recurring floods displace over 130,000 in Myanmar
RECURRING floods in large part of the country have forced over 130,000 people to flee their homes as of July 25, relief officials said.
Among those affected by floods were the Sagaing, Magwe, Bago and Ayeyarwady Regions as well as Kayin, Mon and Shan States and the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw.
The Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) noted that monsoon came early this year triggering floods.
“Floods started early this year than in previous years. It can be said this year flooding is 15 days earlier than the previous years,” said U Kyaw Moe Oo, deputy director general of DMH.
“We cannot estimate the extent of the floods yet this year. It is early to say exactly whether this year flooding is worse than in previous years,” he added.
U Kyaw Moe Oo said that if the floods continue until October or November, the Magwe Region would be the most affected due to the rise of water levels in the Ayeyarwady River and the Chindwin River.
About 130 schools have been
closed temporarily in the region affecting 17,209 students, according to relief officials in the area.
“In Kamma township, people not only have to contend with flood but also the collapse of river bank. All the residents of our village have to be evacuated. We can no longer stay in our village. We are worried for our cattle,” said Ko Wai Phyo from Yay Lae Kyun village, Dhamma Thaw village tract in Kamma township in Magwe Region.
According to the Ministry of Social
Welfare, Relief, and Resettlement, a total of K180 million-worth of aid have been channelled to the affected regions and states until July 14.
In addition, a National Crisis Management Centre was set up to monitor flooding across the country.
Daw Myat Moe Thwe, deputy director from the Department of Relief and Resettlement, said flood- mitigation programs are costly and collaboration between the government and foreign countries were limited. She urged the public to play their role during flood season.
“Though this disaster [flooding] is encountered annually, I do hope the public and civil societies do not lose their sense of urgency,” she said.
“Because it occurs every year, people tend to lose their focus. Precautionary measures must always be taken,” she added.
Due to a tropical cyclone forming in the South China Sea, heavy rains are expected until the end of July in the Delta regions, and coastal regions of Mon, Kayin and Tanintharyi, said U Kyaw Lwin Oo.
“As of now, the first month of the monsoon season will be ending, but there’s still another month left for the powerful monsoon winds. And, there will still be heavy monsoon rainfall. Therefore, watercrafts, aircrafts, trains and ships should pay extra attention to announcement of extreme weather conditions,” he warned.
Currently, Rakhine State is facing the wrath of the monsoon. It has been raining heavily there since July 22 and Taunggok, Thandwe, Gwa, and Ann townships were flooded.
“The water level decreased yesterday. There is no need to worry, we have arranged for assistance when the natural disasters take place in states and districts,” said U Aung Min, Rakhine State Development Minister.
Rakhine State is facing the wrath of the monsoon.