June 29, 2017

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Govt working to neutralise risk posed by Chin State landslide dam

The landslide lake in Chin State. Photo: Supplied by Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement
The landslide lake in Chin State. Photo: Supplied by Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement

THE Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement take immediate steps to neutralise the risks posed by a natural dam that formed in Chin State during a landslide last year.
Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr Win Myat Aye pledged to launch preparedness measures within two weeks to reduce the risk of the dam collapsing.
The ministry plans to build a dyke dam under the natural dam in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation.
At a meeting with local authorities in Kalay, which experienced the worst flood in a century in 2015, the Union minister stressed the need for transparency in taking the risk-reduction measures.
The dam was formed in the upper reaches of Twille Creek in Tongzon Township, Chin Sate, last year due amid torrential rain.
To prevent its collapse, experts from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation suggested three options : to build a dyke near the dam, to release water from the dam through outlets on both sides of the dam, or to build a silt-trap dam on the Nayinzaya River.
Meanwhile, the experts also clarified that there will be no possibility of danger to the residents of Kalay, even if the dam collapses, as the dam’s 26,750 acre-feet of water would flow into the Yazagyo Dam, which has a storage capacity of 140,000 acre-feet.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement plans to establish an early warning system and rapid-respond teams to carry out emergency drills in Kalay.
Torrential rain in 2015 triggered massive landslides in Chin State, forming the natural dam, sparking worries among locals about the possibility of it bursting in future.
The landslide dam is located nearly 5 kilometres west of Hangin Village in Tunzan Township, covering about 84 acres, according to satellite images.
Four states and regions—Chin, Magwe, Sagaing and Rakhine regions—were hit by flood in the rainy season last year.
The flooding inundated more than 1 million acres of farmland nationwide, damaging more than 426,000 acres and destroying more than 56,000 acres nationwide, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.

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