Tue, Jul 16, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Flooding forces thousands from homes in Myanmar

Reuters, YANGON, Myanmar

Rescuers yesterday search for victims after a building collapsed on Sunday night following heavy monsoon rains near Kumarhatti, in India’s Himachal Pradesh.

Photo: AFP

Days of heavy monsoon rain and dangerously high river levels in Myanmar have forced more than 18,000 people from their homes and flooded at least one camp for people displaced by recent fighting, authorities and a politician said yesterday.

Four towns along the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin rivers were in danger of being inundated as the rivers rose, the Burmese Department of Disaster Management said.

“We are working together with local authorities helping the people and providing food,” department Director Phyu Lai Lai Htun said.

More people were expected to be forced from their homes yesterday, she said.

The northern state of Kachin was the worst affected, with 14,000 people forced from their homes near the banks of the Ayeyarwady.

Media published photographs showing submerged houses, vehicles and roads in Myitkyina, the state’s capital.

Flooding also forced 3,000 people in the western Rakhine State to relocate, the department said.

They included some of the thousands displaced by fighting between the military and the Arakan Army insurgent group since late last year, according to Arakan National Party Secretary Tun Aung Kyaw, who visited a camp for several hundred displaced people near the ancient city of Mrauk-U.

“The whole camp is flooded and people are desperately in need of immediate shelter and food,” he said by telephone.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a Facebook post it was helping the government respond to the flooding, while the Myanmar Red Cross, aid groups and private donors were also aiding the victims.

SOUTH ASIA

In related news, at least 12 people were killed when a house collapsed in Himachal Pradesh, India, following heavy monsoon rain which has left more than 100 dead across South Asia, officials said yesterday.

Floods and landslides caused by torrential downpours have killed at least 67 people across Nepal while 30 more are missing, police said.

In Bangladesh, at least 29 people have died since Tuesday last week, including 18 who were hit by lightning and seven who drowned after their boat capsized in choppy waters in the Bay of Bengal.

Another 10 people have died in overcrowded Rohingya refugee camps in southeast Bangladesh.

In Bihar, India, five rivers were flowing over the danger levels.

Additional reporting by AFP

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