Myanmar: Floods Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation MDRMM017


Description of the disaster

According to the latest update from DMH, monsoon flooding has hit the lower part of Myanmar following heavy rainfall since the third week of July. The flood has been affecting thousands of households in Shan (East), Kayin, Mon, Rakhine, Mandalay and Tanintharyi. The Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) Myanmar reported that the lowpressure area over the North Bay of Bengal persists and will remain until October 2021.

Since, 30 June 2021, the DMH has been issuing flood advisory warnings and warnings regarding weather systems impacting major rivers and their water level. As weather systems come closer and more information on the expected impact becomes available, public warnings on flooding and landslides are being disseminated. Myanmar’s DMH have reported heavy rain since 25 July 2021, with many areas affected by flood. Since mid-July, people and communities have been impacted by ongoing and recurring floods across Myanmar which requires local level response.
The monsoon weather system is strong and active, and on 24 August, DMH forecast predicted water levels may exceed the danger level of major rivers and river dams such as Ayeyarwady River and Sittoung River that are currently in critical situation and could have the ability to impact the most at-risk areas. As of 25 August, the Thanlwin River has exceeded the danger zone (see in Annex forecast).1 There are concerns that the weather system, fluvial floods, and flash floods could cause damage in communities across several regions, particularly in Shan (East), Kayin, Mon, Rakhine,
Tanintharyi, Magway, Mandalay, Kachin, Sagaing and Chin regions. Some of these areas have experienced previous devastation by the flood in 2015 and 2017, with response carried out via operation by IFRC EA MDRMM006. It is estimated more than 1.6 million vulnerable people2 are likely to be impacted by sessional monsoon related disasters.

In addition, Myanmar’s coastline is susceptible to severe cyclones which form in the Bay of Bengal, which has two cyclone seasons: April to May and October to November. Considering this, it is crucial to support MRCS in its capacity to respond timely and effectively to concurrent disasters.

DMH forecasts that the monsoon season will continue until October with medium to heavy rainfall and it is likely that Myanmar will experience new floods, in addition to probable increased severity impacts. In order to better prepare for the potential impacts of the ongoing monsoon season and to allow the National Society to support local authorities' preventative evacuation and initiate immediate disaster response, MRCS together with the support from IFRC CD has requested an imminent crisis DREF allocation fund amount of CHF 150,000. This DREF will help MRCS to prepare and respond to the monsoon season and the high probability disasters that will impact the Myanmar people.

This plan, funded by DREF, details the actions to be taken in view of the upcoming increased rains expected through the procurement of relief items (stocks), mobilization of assets, and personnel (staff and volunteers), preventative evacuations, rapid needs assessments, and distribution of essential household and emergency shelter items if required. This Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) and operations budget will be revised as the situation evolves and scale of disaster changes.

Compounding Risk Factors

1.Ongoing impacts of Civil Unrest in Myanmar since 1 February 2021.
This ongoing crisis has proliferated nationwide civil unrest with significant humanitarian implications.

 Basic services including transport, health and banking are affected.

 Cash based relief assistance is currently not feasible due to sustained disruptions to the banking sector.

 Internationally procured Disaster Preparedness (DP) stock items, require longer lead times due to limited border access and customs delays, linked primarily to the Myanmar civil unrest, but also more recently by COVID-19 pandemic.

2.Ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and a recent renewed outbreak at a national scale, resulting in reduced movement of both people and relief items.

3.Reduced response capacity at a national scale. This situation places additional pressure and expectation on MRCS as a primary responder to people affected by seasonal disaster events from small, medium to large scale scenarios.