Crops, homes, roads de­stroyed in Tatkon flood­ing af­ter dam over­flows

The Myanmar Times - - News - PYAE THET PHYO pyae­thet­phyo@mm­times.com

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

Photo: Pyae Thet Phyo

The road con­nect­ing Tatkon and Pob­bathiri town­ships was flooded on Novem­ber 11, and the wa­ter­line in­un­dated some houses in Shout Kone village.

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