SITTWE, Rakhine State — More than 300 people were evacuated after the Nga La Pwe Dam in Kala Ba Taung village of Rakhine State’s Kyaukphyu Township burst on Monday.
The dam lies in close proximity to urban wards of Kyaukphyu and was breached on Monday at noon due to rising tides.
More than 300 people from over 70 households near the dam were evacuated. “They were evacuated to Thein Taung monastery,” Kyaukphyu Township municipality chairman U Than Lwin told The Irrawaddy.
The dam was built on a lake that was previously used to farm fish. Currently, it is managed by the Irrigation Department. According to locals, the dam also burst last year.
U Poe San, a lawmaker representing Kyaukphyu Township in the state Parliament, blamed the local government for its negligence regarding the dam break.
“I went to see the dam on Monday at noon. The administrator of Nga La Pwe village told me that he had informed the Irrigation Department long ago that the embankment of the dam needed to be fixed,” U Poe San told The Irrawaddy.
“But no one came and saw the dam. So, it was caused by departmental negligence,” he added.
Navy soldiers, local police force, firefighters and locals are fixing the embankment.
Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.