Saturday, August 1, 2015

Eleven States and Regions among 14 States and Regions suffer worst flooding in Myanmar's history

Eleven States and Regions among 14 States and Regions suffer worst flooding in Myanmar's history, criticisms over weakness in providing aid assistance and effective preventive measures by government

Rescue workers evacuating the flood victims in Pwint Phyu Township, Magway Region.
People of Myanmar are now criticizing over government's weaknesses in providing aid assistance and doing effective preventive measures to 11 States/ Regions among 14 States/Regions in Myanmar.

Since July 16, flooding occurred in Sagaing Region, upper Myanmar.

Social organizations doing humanitarian works in flooded areas in 11 States/ Regions said the people in these areas still don't get governments assistance.

Due to heavy rain, great loss such as bridges, roads and farmlands were flooded and the people in the flooded areas have to rely on social organizations but in some villages, aid is still not hard for them.

At the moment, Sagaing, and Magway Regions, Rakhine and Chin suffered worst flooding. According to locals of Ayeyearwady Region, the region suffered heavy rain and flooding since July 31. Since the beginning of third week of July, flooding happened in a Kachin State, Mandalay Region, and Shan State. Starting from these days, flooding continued in areas such as Bago Region, Kayin and Mon States.There are 14 States/ Regions in Myanmr. Among them, except from Yangon, Thanintharyi Regions and Kayah State, all the rest States/ Regions are now suffering the worst flooding.

Due to water from spillways of Mone and Man creeks' dams, hundreds and thousands of people in 4 townships in Magway Region have to evacuate from flooding.

Due to flooding in Mone and Man creeks in Magway Region, water from the these dams' spillways threatened Saytoattaryar, Pwint Phyu, Nga Phe, Saku Townships and so people, as well as cattle  from more than 300 villages in these townships  have to evacuate to safe areas on July 31. According to locals, people from these areas need drinking water, food and rain shelters are matters of some urgency.
Flood victims from Pwint Phyu Township
As flooding in Mone creek, people and animals living in Saytoattaryar which lie closely to the Mone creek dam and villages along Mone creek  had to evacuate since July 29 night. Since July 30 morning, transportations to Saytoattaryar were stopped because water from mountain flown in the area. Besides, tele-communications were unable to connect. Therefore, people in these areas are in need of food, clean water and shelters as quickly as possible.

Hundreds and thousands of people residing in Pwint Phyu, situated lower parts of Mone dam, Kyiown-Kyiwa dam, and Linzin dam near Mone creek and more than a hundred villages along Mone creek abandoned their houses since early July 31. During their evacuation, a man of about 35 year from Latkhot village was floated in the flood. In the mean time, water continues to rises in Mone creek and so patients from Pwint Phyu township hospital, and elderly people were trapped in the town. Relief workers, members from political and social organizations, fire-brigade members, police members, and military from Magway, Minbu, Minhla, took part in the relief works for Pwint Phyu township but they face shortage in getting drinking water, and food.

Kalay Township in Sagaing Region suffered worst flooding and refugee shelters had to move several times

Kalay in Sagaing Region suffered record flooding but water continues to rises and so flood victims' shelters had to move several times.

"It's been 3 days Kalay was flooded. The water level is getting higher and so the shelters opened previously for flood victims were drowned and therefore we had to move again. No effective assistance from government was made. In villages, conditions were worse. Locals on their own did relief work by hiring boats," said Aung Thu from Kalay.

The most needed thing in relief work is motor-vessels and requirements for those left behind at their houses and relief workers are quite many.

Chindwin River in Monywa reaches above danger level and some townships in Monywa are now flooding.

On July 31 at 5:00 pm, in Monywa Township in Sagaing Region, the water level reaches more than 46 centimeters of danger level of 1000 centimeters. Some villages in Budalin and Ayardaw townships in Monywa district suffered flooding.

The danger level of Chindwin River is 1000 centimeters and now reaches more than 1046 centimeters. Therefore, culinary crops traders along Monywa strand road are moving their goods to safer places.

"Majority of shops moved bags of wheat, beans to places they think flooding couldn't reach. But we are worried of flooding. People are preparing to put sand bags along banks," said shop owner Kyi Hlaing from Monywa.

Chin State badly suffers landslides and only rescue workers do evacuating activities

Chin State has already faced landslides caused by a heavy rain and only rescue workers are now doing the evacuating activities. The flash landslides may occur due to a bad weather.

“ About  20 buildings were buried beneath the landslides. The rescue workers are Fire bridge members, Police force, army and civil and social organizations in downtown. The current difficulty is the transportation access between Kalay and Gantgaw Townships that can’t cut off yet. Near future, there will be food shortage. Now, Phalan road section closed. We are now evacuating about 100 households to the Khaing Kan Gymnasium due to continuous rain and collapse of houses. I think, there are 300 or 400 flood victims. The roads are now being banned. We are now warning about the storm that staged orange level. The schools were temporarily closed for three days. Only rescue workers can be seen on the roads. We told the residents to stay at their homes,” said the Administrator in Hakhar Township, Chin State, on July 30.

Hundreds thousands of Rakhine people suffer flooding

As the Cyclonic Storm “Komen”, crossing to Southern Coasts of Bengladesh, floods occurred in many parts of Rakhine State. Due to cyclonic storm Komen, hundreds thousands of people are now suffering floods. Especially, Kyaukdaw, Myauk-Oo, Minpyar and Ann Townships are the worst hit areas. In Minpyar Township, three wards were flooded and about 300 families moved into the safe places. In the evening of July 30, a boat was sunk while transferring into the safe places. The accident left five deaths.

“ In downtown, hundreds of people are now facing the difficulties. They went to the safe places like monasteries and schools. A boat carrying flood victims was sunk leaving five deaths. About three or four houses were damaged due to river erosion,” said Khin Zaw Win from Minpyar Township.

The floods occurred in Kyaukdaw downtown since the beginning of July 30 evening. Those people living along the embankments were transferring to the safe places. In doing so, hundreds of villagers are moving as about 30 villages were flooded and they worried about increase of water level.

“ At present, rescue activities are needed. We need a lot of humanitarian aids because flood victims can’t carry their property during evacuating. That’s why they are inconvenient for food. In Kyaukdaw Township, nearly 30 villages are being evacuated. Some transferred as whole villages,” said resident Maung Tun Khin.

“ Myauk-Oo Township was flooded except in upper  Konethe Ward. All lower parts were flooded. A market was already closed. In downtown, the water level is now five feet. The utensils are being transferred by boat. We are now staying at higher parts and  in monasteries. There is no supply provided by the respective departments. Although it is convenient to stay, we face shortage of food. We are now travelling by boat in downtown because bus lines have been cancelled,” said local Kyaw Sow Win.

The residents said that hundreds thousands of people in Rakhine State already suffered floods till 31 July. However, not only regional government committee but also international organizations like NGOs didn’t give any helps up to now.

Some wards in Pyi District flooded; people travel by boats with charges

Some wards in downtown of Pyi District, Bago Region, are being flooded since in the early morning of July 31. So, peoples are now travelling by boats with charges.

“ The bridge sank to the bottom of the water. In the past, the bridge was broken. So, nobody dared to pass through the bridge. We are now travelling by boats paying Ks 100 per person as the water flowed into the wards measuring four feet. Actually, the authorities must provide the boats for us with free of charge,” said Win Maung living in Nawin Ward in Pyi District.
Military men evacuate flood victims as inflow of water in Aunglan Township, Pyi District.
Myingyan residents worry about flooding

The water rapidly flowed into the villages near Ayeyawady embankment in Myingyan Township, Mandalay Region, and lower wards in the downtown. So, the residents worried about the flooding, according to the residents.

At the beginning of July 29, Ayeyawady river water increased and some villages near embankment and some lands were flooded. Comparing to inflow of water in last year, the river water speedily flowed into the lower wards in Myingyan Township within two days.

The Ayeyawady River water flowed earlier than the previous years. So, there are a lot of damages as the cultivated crops weren’t harvested timely.

Yangon-Mawlamyaing road section in Belin Township also flooded

The heavy rain has caused floods in Belin Township, Thahtone District, Mon State, in the morning of July 31. Therefore, more than vehicles driving to Yangon-Mawlamyaing, Yay and Dawei Townships are waiting for the reducing of water level. Some schools and wards in downtown of Belin Township were also flooded. Some flood victims temporarily stayed at the monasteries, according to the resident from Belin Township.

Authorities, CSOs evacuate flood victims from Bagan, Nyaung-Oo Township

 Ayeyawady River water has already increased in Bagan and Nyaung-Oo Township, Mandalay Region. So,  the authorities and civic and social organizations (CSOs) are now evacuating the villagers from flood-hit islands namely Hselan and Pakokku on July 31 by boats and they are sending those flood victims to the refugee camps opened in Nyaung-Oo embankment.

Public criticize about government’s actions on flooding

 Regarding flood occurrence in the beginning of July 16, although the president visited flood-hit region in Sagaing Region on July 21, there were no effective rescue activities, according to those who are now doing rescue activities in Kawlin Township, Sagaing Region.

The government has already been criticized for lacking timely release on flood warnings, for delaying of preventive measures against the flooding, for supporting of rescue services as well as for weakness laid down of rehabilitation plans.

It is learnt that dozens of people are now missing due to flood that left many people deaths.

“ Why doesn’t the State media announce the emergency news on the flood? People are now saying that the news on flood should be announced as an emergency state. It can say that it was very weak on preparation for preventive measures on emergency announcement and transfer to safe places. Before Nargis, plans on preventive awareness of natural disasters had been laid down and the committee also had been formed. We didn’t find that there was no implementation of the plan on awareness of natural disasters. It is huge weakness of the government,” criticized meteorologist Tun Lwin interviewed with Irrwaddy News Agency.

Thura Shwe Mann, Union Assembly Speaker tagged on his Face-book on July 21, saying that he expected the cash out of Ks 100 billion of the President’s special reserve fund granted by the Union Parliament would be used effectively in rescue and rehabilitation activities for the flood victims.

No one say about the special reserve fund at the meeting on Natural Disaster Awareness Central Committee held on July 30.

However, two of International Standard Theatres (Arts Department) will be built in Yangon and Mandalay during this year with the use of President’s special reserve fund, says the president at the meeting with artists and members of Thabin and Music Associations held in Mandalay on July 26.
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