Flood Victims Rise to More Than 1,000 in Irrawaddy Region

By Salai Thant Zin 24 July 2017

PATHEIN, Irrawaddy Region — Heavy rains and floods have forced more than 1,000 people from their homes to relief camps in Danubyu, Myanaung, and Ingapu townships in Irrawaddy Region.

“We have so far opened four relief camps, and victims mainly need food. We are prioritizing emergency food supplies in each township,” said director of the Irrawaddy Region Relief and Resettlement Department U Than Soe.

More than 60 households are taking shelter at a relief camp in Myanaung; more than 120 households are at two relief camps in Danubyu; and more than 100 households are at a relief camp in Ingapu Township. More than 60 schools have been closed across the region because of the floods.

“There are 470 flood victims at the relief camps in Danubyu, mostly from villages and wards outside of the dike,” regional lawmaker U San Htwe of Danubyu told The Irrawaddy.

“The social welfare department has provided rice, and we’ve distributed it. The situation is not serious and the [township] flood rescue committee has prepared sand bags,” he said.

The water level of the Irrawaddy River is two feet above its danger level in Hinthada and Zalun townships, three feet above in Danubyu, and 2.6 feet above in Nyaungdon, according to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.

The Irrawaddy Delta saw devastating flooding last year that affected more than 500,000 people in Maubin, Hinthada, Pathein, Pyapon and Myaungmya districts, and inundated more than 200,000 acres of paddy fields, according to statistics from the Irrawaddy regional government.

Since July 18, nearly 5,000 people from four townships in Mon State have also been affected by flooding, according to the regional relief and resettlement department.

In Rakhine State, roads and residential areas in Ann and Taungup townships were inundated with water up to five feet in some places as of Sunday. In Thandwe, three monasteries gave shelter to 360 people displaced by floods, while four quarters and a village nearby were inundated on Friday.

Meteorologist U Tun Lwin has warned of possible upcoming torrential rains in Myanmar due to  a strong monsoon in the Bay of Bengal. Rakhine State, Irrawaddy Region, Magwe, Yangon and Bago Regions are prone to flooding.

Additional reporting by Hintharnee from Mon State and Moe Myint from Yangon.