Crops, homes, roads destroyed in Tatkon flooding after dam overflows
THOUSANDS of acres of farmland in Nay Pyi Taw’s Tatkon township were destroyed after water flooded over the Nan Won dam on November 11, according to local officials.
Deputy Tatkon township administrator U Min Mon Zan told The Myanmar Times that he had appealed to the Nay Pyi Taw Council for aid relief.
“For help with the damaged farmlands, we have presented the losses to the Nay Pyi Taw Council,” he said. “Now we are waiting for instruction from our superiors. We submitted the report shortly after the flooding started.”
Paddy fields took the hardest hit, with 1885 acres destroyed. Nearly 400 acres of vegetables, 118 acres of maize, 49 acres of groundnuts and a small amount of bean crops were destroyed. In all, 1705 farmers lost crops to the flooding in Nwe Yit, Kin Mon Tan and Kyar Thay Ain village tracts.
“Because this is a very critical time of year for the paddy plants to develop, paddies were the most damaged crop,” U Min Mon Zan said.
Nine houses in Shartaw village and three in Khayan Sat Kone village were washed away. Schools, roads and bridges were also damaged in Myauk Myeik village.
“Nay Pyi Taw Council is supposed to manage damaged roads and bridges,” U Min Won Zaw said.
The dam overflowed at 11am and by 2pm sections of the roads that connect Tatkon and Pobbathiri townships were under 5 feet (1.5 metres) of water.
“The water rose immediately and herds of cows were washed away,” Shwe U-Daung village resident Ko Tun Aung told The Myanmar Times. “A man’s motorcycle was also washed away, along with K2.5 million [US$1945] that he withdrew from the bank.”
By 4pm, the water was receding but township authorities did not provide transportation help.
“This flooding is the worst ever,” said Pout Pin village resident U Tin Myint. “We have never encountered flooding that even destroyed roads.”
Nay Pyi Taw has a low chance of further showers for the rest of the week, with the chance of precipitation peaking at 19 percent on November 15, according to Accuweather.
While sudden seasonal flooding this year caused damage in Mandalay, Ayeyarwady and Nay Pyi Taw, and inundated some historic sites, it was not nearly on the same disastrous level as last year. In 2015, flooding displaced more than 1.6 million peoples and affected over 1.45 million acres of paddy land, of which over 841,000 acres were destroyed.
Myanmar is considered one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate disasters, with long-term flood-proofing badly needed.
According to water experts surveying Myanmar’s dams and dykes, climate change means the original designs of many dams are now obsolete and other factors like sedimentation and earthquake damage may add to the risks downstream.
– Translation by Zar Zar Soe
The road connecting Tatkon and Pobbathiri townships was flooded on November 11, and the waterline inundated some houses in Shout Kone village.