Myan­mar flood­ing death toll tops 100, one mil­lion af­fected

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

The death toll from se­vere flood­ing across Myan­mar has topped 100, state media re­ported Mon­day, with nearly one mil­lion peo­ple af­fected as fears in­ten­sify for the coun­try’s cru­cial rice bowl re­gion.

Floods from a heavy mon­soon sea­son have cut through swathes of South and South­east Asia in re­cent weeks, claim­ing hun­dreds of lives and dis­plac­ing mil­lions.

Myan­mar, one of Asia’s most im­pov­er­ished coun­tries, has been hit par­tic­u­larly hard by weeks of tor­ren­tial rain with 12 out of 14 states and re­gions suf­fer­ing flood­ing.

In­ter­na­tional aid has been stepped up in re­cent days fol­low­ing an of­fi­cial gov­ern­ment re­quest for help.

The Global New Light of Myan­mar news­pa­per Mon­day gave up­dated gov­ern­ment fig­ures, of “more than 100” dead and “nearly one mil­lion” peo­ple af­fected na­tion­wide by the in­un­da­tions.

More than 1.2 mil­lion acres ( 486,000 hectares) of rice fields are cur­rently un­der wa­ter, with more than 430,000 acres de­stroyed by the floods, the pa­per added.

Gov­ern­ment Re­sponses

Myan­mar’s pre­vi­ous junta gov­ern­ment was ac­cused of in­dif­fer­ence in its slug­gish re­sponse to Cy­clone Nar­gis in May 2008, a cri­sis which at least 138,000 peo­ple dead or miss­ing.

The coun­try is set for a gen­eral elec­tion in Novem­ber and the floods have taken on a po­lit­i­cal di­men­sion, with both the qua­si­civil­ian gov­ern­ment and op­po­si­tion — led by Aung San Suu Kyi — at pains to show they are re­act­ing speed­ily to the floods.

Pres­i­dent Thein Sein was pic­tured vis­it­ing re­lief ef­forts on Sun­day in the Ir­rawaddy re­gion as army chief Min Aung Hlaing made trips to the western states of Sa­gaing and Chin.

But many of those hit by the flood­ing ap­pear not to be re­ly­ing on gov­ern­ment help, ei­ther try­ing to cope alone or turn­ing to lo­cal monas­ter­ies or com­mu­nity groups.

Author­i­ties have in­sisted that the elec­tion set for Nov. 8 will go ahead de­spite the floods, even as they try to as­sess the scale of the dam­age.

AP

In this Sun­day, Aug. 9 photo, flood vic­tims re­ceive food from a pri­vate donor in Hinthada town­ship, Myan­mar.

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