Swollen Aye­yarwady River in­un­dates Amara­pura town­ship

More than half of Amara­pura’s vil­lages were flooded yes­ter­day, af­fect­ing over 5000 peo­ple and shut­ter­ing a univer­sity as the river’s wa­ter level in Man­dalay climbed be­yond its warn­ing mark.

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - – Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Myint Kay Thi, trans­la­tion by Kyawt Darly Lin

THE wa­ters of the Aye­yarwady River in Man­dalay have sur­passed the dan­ger mark, with flood­wa­ters yes­ter­day in­un­dat­ing more than half the vil­lages in Amara­pura town­ship and forc­ing clo­sure of a ma­jor univer­sity out­side Myan­mar’s sec­ond-largest city.

The Aye­yarwady River’s warn­ing level in Man­dalay is set at 1260 cen­time­tres (41.3 feet), and wa­ters reached 1325cm yes­ter­day, ac­cord­ing to U Win Than Hlaing, an of­fi­cial from the city’s No 1 wa­ter sen­try post.

“The [Man­dalay] City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee is now plac­ing sand bags,” he said. “Au­thor­i­ties from the fire ser­vices and ward ad­min­is­tra­tions are watch­ing over it day and night. Po­ten­tial places where wa­ter can en­ter have been piled with sand bags.”

Al­though the river has not yet burst its banks in Man­dalay’s river­side wards, vil­lages in Amara­pura as well as set­tle­ments near the bridge con­nect­ing Man­dalay and Sa­gaing are grap­pling with flood­wa­ters.

“Of a to­tal 24 vil­lages in Amara­pura town­ship, wa­ter has en­tered 16 vil­lages at the mo­ment,” U Than Aung, a mem­ber of the lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion for the Shwe Kyat Yat group of vil­lages, said yes­ter­day. “More than 1200 house­holds and over 5000 peo­ple are al­ready suf­fer­ing from the floods. Medicine, food and aid are needed for their health.”

The river level yes­ter­day clocked in just 57cm be­low a record-set­ting 2004 mea­sure­ment of 1382cm, which was the high­est recorded since the 1970s, U Than Aung added.

The Aye­yarwady River at Man­dalay has been ris­ing since last month, and the wa­ter level stood at 1248cm on July 28.

In ad­di­tion to the clo­sure of Yadanapon Univer­sity in Amara­pura town­ship yes­ter­day, mo­torists strug­gled to nav­i­gate the road that leads to the bridge link­ing Man­dalay and Sa­gaing. Some fam­i­lies dis­placed by the high wa­ters have taken shel­ter in makeshift road­side huts.

Yadanapon Univer­sity of­fi­cials said they have not de­cided when the cam­pus will re­open.

The Depart­ment of Me­te­o­rol­ogy and Hy­drol­ogy (DMH) has warned res­i­dents of low-ly­ing ar­eas in Man­dalay to be on alert for po­ten­tial flood­ing.

Fur­ther down­stream on the Aye­yarwady River, wa­ter lev­els were also recorded above their warn­ing marks at My­inmu town­ship in Sa­gaing Re­gion; Minbu and Pakokku town­ships in Magwe Re­gion; and Hinthada and Zalun town­ships in Aye­yarwady Re­gion.

The DMH has is­sued an iden­ti­cal warn­ing for sim­i­larly si­t­u­ated low­ly­ing pop­u­la­tions liv­ing along the Chind­win and Nga Won rivers, both of which have also seen wa­ters rise past their dan­ger marks at points.

More than 700 house­holds were evac­u­ated last week due to flood­ing along the swollen Chind­win River in Sa­gaing Re­gion. At least seven town­ships in the re­gion – Ho­ma­lin, Paung­byin, Mawlaik, Kani, Min­gin, Kalaywa and Monywa – recorded wa­ter lev­els above their warn­ing marks yes­ter­day, ac­cord­ing to the DMH.

The Nga Won River, an off­shoot of the Aye­yarwady River in Aye­yarwady Re­gion, sur­passed its dan­ger mark by 1.5 feet at Ngath­aingchaung in Ye­gyi town­ship, with wa­ters ex­pected to rise an ad­di­tional foot over the next four days, the DMH said yes­ter­day.

The depart­ment said heavy mon­soon rains are ex­pected across much of the coun­try in the com­ing days due to the per­sis­tence of a low-pres­sure area over the Bay of Ben­gal.

Coastal re­gions could see strong waves brought on by wind gusts of up to 45 miles per hour (72 kilo­me­tres per hour).

Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

Photo: Phyo Wai Kyaw

Flood­wa­ters in­un­date a vil­lage near the bridge across the Aye­yarwady River link­ing Man­dalay and Sa­gaing.

HLAING KYAW SOE

PHYO WAI KYAW

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