Re­cur­ring floods dis­place over 130,000 in Myan­mar

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - News - MYINT KAY THI HTIKE NANDAR WIN NAY AUNG YE YWAL MYINT news­room@mm­times.com

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.

Photo: Sup­plied

Rakhine State is fac­ing the wrath of the mon­soon.

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