RANGOON — The Burmese government has declared disaster zones in several states and divisions after relentless heavy rains inundated villages across the country.
The President’s Office released a statement on Friday declaring that Chin State, Arakan State, Magwe Division and Sagaing Division were disaster areas, with the scale of flooding posing substantial difficulties in returning flood-affected settlements to normalcy in the short term.
Up to 110,000 people have been severely affected by flooding across Burma, with 21 deaths reported in July, according to an update released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on July 30, citing government statistics.
According to figures released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and published in state media on Thursday, more than 50,000 acres of farmland are underwater in Irrawaddy Division. In Sagaing Division, more than 100,000 acres of farmland are reportedly inundated.
As of Saturday morning, many residential areas in Sidoktaya, Magwe Divisioon are still inundated as the water level continues to rise from torrential rains and discharge from the nearby Mone Creek reservoir, hindering rescue work, according to the Ministry of Information.
In the Sagaing Divison township of Kale, more than 6000 people were affected by unprecedented floods as of Friday, after the Myit Tha River began overflowing on Tuesday. Irrawaddy Divison, Kachin, Karen and Mon states were also hit by floods, the Ministry says.
On Saturday morning, President Thein Sein left for Sagaing Divison to oversee the situation in flood-hit areas.