Monsoon floods continue to wreak havoc in Burma
By NAW NOREEN And SHWE AUNG 26 September 2013 Print Email
One person has been killed and more than 400 residents have been evacuated to safety after severe flooding in Naypyidaw’s Lewe township.
Aung Thaung, the National League for Democracy’s (NLD’s) Pyinmana township chairman, said the villages of Khayangine, Sinseik and Nyaunggon in Lewe were inundated after heaving rain on 24 September, causing the overflow of local creeks and a dam. He said one local youth who went swimming drowned but that more than 400 residents from the villages were evacuated to safety.
“There was constant rain for the past two days which led to the overflow of creeks and a dam,” he said. “The sluice gate on the Naypyidaw Airport Road was too small to control the flow, and it flooded nearby villages.
“The village of Sinseik, which has around 100 households, was completely flooded while about two-thirds of Khayangine and half of Nyaunggon were inundated,” he said.
He said the 400 evacuees were taken to a shelter at Paungdaw Chatma Pagoda in Lewe by local Red Cross staffers and NLD members. He said they were provided food and water.
Aung Thaung added that the water level in some areas reached up to about seven feet.
Further south, in Pegu division, residents from around 150 villages in Moenyo township were inundated by overflow from the Irrawaddy River and are in need of relief.
Hlaing Win Kyaw, the NLD’s social welfare wing member in Moenyo, said the floodwater, had reached the rooftops of many one-storey houses, forcing locals to move their families and livestock onto higher ground. He said on Thursday that after a week of floods, the water levels are finally beginning to subside.
“But now locals are facing a food shortage,” said Hlaing Win Kyaw.
A local farmer from nearby Sinma village told DVB that this monsoon season marks the worst flooding in a decade, affecting more than 350 families in his village and destroying about 900 acres of farmland.
According to the UN, nearly 50,000 people across the country have been displaced by heavy monsoon rains and flash floods this year, and some 70,000 acres of farmland flooded or destroyed.
Local political parties such as the NLD have mobilised volunteers to help collect relief supplies and food for those who have been forced to abandon their homes, said Hlaing Win Kyaw.