WORLD CUP INSIDE 16 killed, feared dead in strong monsoon
GUESS YOUR TEAM AND WIN PRIZES At least 16 people have died or are feared dead in accidents triggered by the past week of heavy rain and strong winds throughout most of the country, officials said.
THE strong monsoon that has generated a week of heavy rains and strong winds has caused widespread flooding across eight states and regions, landslides in some towns and huge waves in rivers, killing at least 12 people, while four others remain missing and are feared dead.
The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) on Thursday said flooding across the regions and states killed seven people and displaced more than 5000 others.
The states and regions affected by flood include Sagaing, Magwe, Bago, Ayeyarwady, Kayin, Rakhine, Shan, and Kayar.
The department said severe flooding hit Magwe, where six people died, while one casualty was reported in Sagaing.
Daw Phyu Lae Lae Tun, director of DDM, said the department is preparing assistance for people displaced by the flood. She said her office provided K300,000 (US$220) for the families of each victim, while up to K100,000 was given to each family whose houses were damaged.
The strong winds and heavy rain also damaged eight religious build- ings, 39 bridges and roads, and around 7000 acres of farmland. Water in 14 dams was reported to exceed the danger level, risking spillovers that could create flooding in other areas.
In Mandalay Region, the heavy rain and a subsequent landslide killed five people early Thursday in Aung Thit Lwin ward of Mogok town, according to a local rescue group.
The landslide occurred before dawn and buried a family. Among the dead were one woman and four men including a child in the seventh grade, rescuers said.
The town also experienced a landslide last year in which one person died.
Another landslide at Masoeyein monastery in Mintadar ward, also in Mogok, caused the collapse of a septic tank, which injured several people, residents said.
In Yangon, a boat carrying 12 people capsized late Wednesday after it was battered by strong winds and waves, leaving four people missing and feared dead. Rescuers had yet to recover any of the missing as of late Thursday.
According to police, the motorised boat, which was taking passengers from Sint Oh Dan port in Latha township to Dala township, suffered a mechanical failure while negotiating the swollen Yangon River. It was swept by huge waves, causing it to capsize near Sule jetty’s dock.
A ground fissure has appeared in Parsaung village of Hkamti township in Sagaing after over a week of heavy rain, residents said. Over 70 families in the hilly village feared that continued heavy rain could trigger a landslide.
“In the morning on Thursday, we notice a fissure that cuts across the village, and if something happens, a school and houses will be affected,” said U Kyaung Chan, the village administrator.
According to the DMH weather forecast, the monsoon is still strong in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. It said heavy rain is expected to continue in some states and regions, but added the weather will improve in the next two days in central region of Myanmar.
The DMH warned people living near rivers to be alert for flash floods and those in hilly region to be alert for landslides.
A search and rescue team leaves Sint Oh Dan jetty on Thursday to search for four people who went missing after a motorised ferry boat capsized on the Yangon River late Thursday. Photo: Kaung Htet