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February 26, 2018

Sagaing floods kill two, damage thousands of homes

Flash floods damaged several bridges in Wuntho. Photo: IPRD
Flash floods damaged several bridges in Wuntho. Photo: IPRD

TWO people are reported dead following flooding in Sagaing Region yesterday as incessant rain battered Katha, Wuntho and Kawlin townships.
In Katha, creeks swelled and flooded nearby villages, causing landslides that killed two people, according to the township’s Information and Public Relations Department.
In Wuntho, floods destroyed crops and killed farm animals across the township, damaging bridges and disrupting the area’s transportation system. Local officials coordinated rescue operations in concert with civil society organisations.
Kawlin Township also experienced severe flooding, which affected 4,000 homes.
“The water levels reached four feet in a matter of 30 minutes, but the floods subsided quickly,” said Ko Maung Maung, a resident of Kawlin.
Local officials said the rainfall reached six inches in Kawlin and 10.37 inches in Wuntho. The extent of the damage remains unknown. Sagaing Region Chief Minister Dr Myint Hlaing visited the area to help with rescue operations, a resident said, blaming the disaster on the reckless disposal of soil from gold mining.
The chief minister pledged full cooperation by members of parliament and departmental officials with rescue workers in addressing the effects of environmental degradation in the region.
The regional government contributed K20 million and emergency relief to victims of the disaster and urged officials to help with recovery and resettlement.
The region was the worst-hit by severe flooding in August 2015, suffering numerous losses of life and damage to property. The unprecedented flooding left behind a trail of devastation and across the region. — Aung Thant Khaing with local IPRDs


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