16,000 Displaced By Rising Floodwaters in Karen State

By Nyan Soe Win 26 July 2018

HPA-AN TOWNSHIP, Karen State — More than 16,000 people have been displaced by floods in Karen State as of Wednesday, according to the state’s disaster management department.

The Thanlwin, or Salween, River has been rising since Sunday, flooding Hpa-an, Hlinebwe, Kawkareik and Myawady townships.

Hpa-an, the state capital, has been hit hardest, with more than 10,000 residents displaced. Ten relief camps have been opened in Hpa-an as of Wednesday to shelter victims.

The number of displaced residents in Hlinebwe has meanwhile risen to over 3,000. There are 12 relief camps in the township to shelter them.

“The river rose overnight on Sunday and flooded wards on Monday. We’ve been sheltering at the camp for three days,” said Daw San San Cho, a resident of Hpa-an’s Ward 1.

“The water reached around 13 feet high from the ground,” she said.

The state’s disaster management department has supplied the camps with seven days worth of rations of rice, oil, eggs, canned sardines and instant noodles, said the department’s deputy director general, U Then Htut Swe.

Among those taking shelter at the Karen State Stadium in Hpa-an are 21 pregnant women, 81 children under 5 years old and 177 students.

In Myawady, the number of flood victims taking shelter at relief camps has declined from more than 2,000 to about 600 this week as the Moei River subsided.

Sixteen townships in four regions and states including Mon State and Tanintharyi and Bago regions are experiencing floods. The water levels of the Thanlwin, Sittaung and Shwegyin rivers in Karen, Mon and Bago are likely to remain above danger levels, according to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.