Thursday, August 6, 2015

Floods move to Ayeyawady

Thousands of people from Hinthada District of Ayeyawady Region are fleeing their homes as the Ayeyawady and Ngawon rivers have risen four feet above their danger levels.
The Ayeyawady reached almost 4 feet above its danger level of 44 feet in Hinthada; 3.3 feet above its danger level of 38 feet in Zalun; 3.6 feet above its danger level of 67 feet in Myanaung; 3 feet above its danger level of 72 feet in Kyangin; and 4.4 feet above its level of 48 feet in Ingapu. And Ngawon rose 2.4 feet above its level of 34 feet in Laymyethna.
Six townships in Hinthada District are flooded. Around 11,750 victims from 3,140 households are sheltering in 83 relief camps: 23 in Hinthada Township; one in Zalun; nine in Myanaung; seven in Kyangin; and 43 in Ingapu.
Floods hit 30,500 households, 106,000 people, 277 schools, 187 monasteries and 119,800 acres of farmland in six townships in Hinthada District.
Levels in four Ayeyawady dams are rising despite the release of water, according to the measurements taken yesterday (Wednesday).
In Kyangin Township, the level of the Kyunchaung dam remains six inches above its 277-feet limit. In Ingapu Township, the Nakathu dam is six inches above its capacity of 260 feet. On July 28, the Kyunchaung dam was 2 feet above its limit and Nakathu dam was 5.9 feet above.
In Myanaung Township, the Mamya dam is an inch above the 315-feet limit but on July 31, it was four feet above its capacity.
In Ingapu Township, the Kanyin dam remains almost 2 feet above its 288-feet limit compared with 8 feet on July 28.
More than 0.1 million acres of farmland are under water. Schools and markets have been closed and rural residents are in need of help.
“Our town, Pantanaw, is still safe. There is no damage to our dams despite the high-water level. Sandbags were placed on the Shitlan embankment. The town is yet to suffer floods. People from upriver: Katthawon, Shwephalar, Waiwangyun and Pyidawthar are relocated. There is a camp at Laepaw monastery. Letpan and Gonemin villagers are there. Nearly 700 people from 180 households are taking shelter at the camp,” said Aye Ko Zaw of Pantanaw Township administration department. 
A witness said: “The situation in Ngathaingchaung is worse. Floods hit eight villages. People are sheltering on the bank and are in need of help. My village is flooded. I heard that some embankments are leaking.”
Ko Tazar Aung from Thabaung said: “The town centre is flooded. Htoogyi, Kyarye, Mandaing and Phayani are under water. We are repairing the Laingone embankment on the other bank of Phayagyigone. Soldiers and firefighters are sandbagging the embankments. All villages downriver of Thabaung will be flooded if the embankment collapses. It is very dangerous. We need help.”
Nyaungdon Township has been declared an orange-level emergency zone.
Ko Sin Pauk of Nyaungdon said: “There are many rescue teams here, including the Free Funeral Services. [Parliament Speaker] Thura Shwe Mann visited the town. The town has not flooded yet. The 12th-Street embankment is leaking despite the sandbags. Areas outside the town are flooded.”
Aung Khaing San from Shansu village said: “My house was under water. Victims are flocking to the primary school. Paysi village is under water.”
Farming cost
The Ayeyawady Region government says 119,200 acres of farmland are flooded in Pathein, Hinthada, Maubin and Labutta districts.
The land belongs to 24,000 farmers from 300 villages. Around 1,930 acres has resurfaced and 800 acres is damaged and 180 acres has been “totally lost”.
Trapped, without help
Sayadaw Tayzaniya from a monastic school in Zalin district, Shwepawkyun, said: “The monastery has moved eight times because the shoreline has collapsed. Around 15 villages nearby are flooded and showing no signs of improvement. The waters are stagnant. There were strong winds which ripped through houses. Some took refuge at the monastery, including people with disabilities. I am feeding the refugees and building up debts. I heard that in Bago region, the administrative office gave victims motorboats but there has been no help in our region from the government. There has only been one group of donors here.”
A price to Pyay
Pyay District, Bago Region, reports that the Ayeyawady has forced nearly 22,000 households to relocate.
The district’s Meteorology and Hydrology Department has reported that the waters are two feet above the warning levels.
The Pyay administrative office says the 4,270 households, 6,770 in Padaung, 10,400 in Shwedaung, 90 in Paungde and 470 in Thegon have been relocated.
Pwintbyu submerged
Pwintbyu Township is suffering from the overflow from the Mone dam flooding thousands of acres of farmland which grew sesame and rice and forcing schools to closed.
Although levels are falling, much water and mud is left in Sagu, Pwintbyu and Sidoktaya. There is a lack of drinking water and food while schools are closed. Attempts to harvest sesame have been made but an estimated 80 per cent of crops were destroyed.
Residents report lacklustre support from the government, compared to the civilian volunteers and donors that came in force to help out at the increasing amount of refugee in camps at Pwintbyu and Sidoktaya.
Donthami floods
Continued heavy rains on August 3 and 4 have led the Donthami River to flood and drive out more families in Duyinsait town.
Low-lying areas of the town, such as Kyarmanaing and Zegone, saw more houses overwhelmed. As of August 4, 420 people from 93 households have moved to a monastery.
Problems are due to worsen as rain is still falling.
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