The land that is known as Arakan by the foreigners is called Rakhaing-pray by its own people, Rakhaing-thar (Arakanese) who were titled this name in honour of preservation on their national heritage and ethics or morality.
Water levels on the Irrawaddy River have reached a critical stage in the town of Pyay in Pegu Division, some 280 kilometres north of Rangoon. Authorities are urging residents of towns at risk to leave their homes and take shelter in relief camps.
The town of Padaung, ten kilometres south of Pyay on the river, has been almost completely inundated. Some 30 local villages are severely affected and hundreds of people have been evacuated to safety, sources said on Monday.
Pyay residents who spoke to DVB on Sunday said they feared that local dams are not strong enough to withstand more floodwater.
“This is a critical time,” said Wanna, a representative of the Democratic Party for a New Society. “Power cuts have left people in danger. The main problem is that the authorities cut the electricity during the night. Families are afraid of snakes and other reptiles.
“People need to be relocated from the areas that rescue services cannot reach. Volunteer groups are trying to help, but the authorities have not contributed effective assistance.”
Aung Myint Kyi, a staffer in the weather department in Pyay District, urged locals at risk to report to relief camps.
“The water levels [from the Irrawaddy] have passed the dangerous stage. We have opened relief camps in Pyay, Padaung and Shwedaung. People whose homes are underwater should report to the authorities and move to shelters for their own safety.”