Locals Flee as Chindwin River Swells

By Zarni Mann 5 July 2017

MANDALAY — Dozens of people living along a stretch of the Chindwin River in Sagaing Division moved to higher ground on Tuesday as heavy rains caused the river to swell.

Residents from some 20 homes in villages Aung Thar, Tharsi and Siphyugone, Khamti Township, sought shelter at the Mya Thein Tan monastery, located uphill in the township, as the water level approached the danger mark.

“We are taking a lot of heavy rain,” said U Aung San Myint, a resident of Khamti. “Local authorities issued a warning for possible flooding and the locals living on the lowland are getting ready to move up to shelters on higher ground.”

Vendors in Khamti town were preparing to close Myo Ma market as the water was close to breaching the banks nearby, according to locals.

Flooding forced the closure of a middle school in Sagaing’s Homalin Township and nine primary schools in the surrounding villages, and damaged 30 households, according to the local administration office.

“We are preparing everything in anticipation for more floods. There are groups monitoring the water level as well,” said a local administrative officer from Homalin Township.

Locals said the floods last year were more severe but added that they were readying supplies and plans if the water level rises.

The Meteorology Department in Naypyidaw on Wednesday reported the water level of the Chindwin River had passed the danger mark in Homalin Township and is set to increase over the next two days.