September 25, 2017

State of emergency — Rakhine bears brunt of flood disaster

Volunteers lay sandbags on the bank of the Ayeyawady River in Myanaung to hold back rising waters.—Photo : Win Bo
Volunteers lay sandbags on the bank of the Ayeyawady River in Myanaung to hold back rising waters.—Photo : Win Bo

Yangon, 6 Aug — Authorities confirmed another 19 fatalities Thursday in one of the ongoing flood disaster’s deadliest days, bringing the nationwide death toll to 88, including more than 50 in Rakhine State.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement said the floods which began in June had affected more than 330,000 people across Myanmar.
Most of the flood-related deaths were reported in Rakhine State, where at least 55 people had died. The flood also killed more than 4,650 cattle, displaced more than 85,400 people and destroyed 10,956 homes and more than 217,580 acres of farmland.
The updated figure released by the ministry on Thursday showed eight people perished in floods in Mandalay Region, followed by Sagaing Region with seven and Shan State with six.
The death toll in Chin State, resulting from landslides triggered by torrential rain, had reached four.
President U Thein Sein said in his monthly address to the country Thursday that the government had made arrangements for returning the flood-ravaged areas to normality as soon as possible.
The government was ready to assist farmers in ploughing their lands and to provide them with seeds so they could grow rice, the president said.
In his speech, the president warned of flooding in Hinthada and Nyaungdon in Ayeyawady Region, urging residents to move to shelters as the Ngawun and Ayeyawady rivers had exceeded their designated danger levels.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation announced Thursday that it continued to keep watch on all dams across the country, confirming that none had broken.
However, 41 dams were releasing excess water through their spillways while 21 had not exceeded their capacity, the ministry said.—GNLM

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