Nearly 2,000 Displaced by Flooding in Myitkyina

By Nyein Nyein 27 June 2012

Up to 2,000 people have been forced to flee severe flooding in parts of Myitkyina after several days of heavy rain in northern Burma caused water levels on the Irrawaddy River to rise dramatically.

The flooding began two days ago in five quarters of the Kachin State capital, including Myit Thit Gyi, Rambu and Sitarpu. According to local sources, people living in those areas have taken shelter in monasteries, schools and churches in the city.

“Around 1,500 to 2,000 people are staying in temporary shelters because of the flooding,” Kyaw Thiha, a member of the opposition National League for Democracy from Myitkyina, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

There are about 500 people staying at the Aung Zaeya Monastery alone, while many others are staying at churches or with relatives, he added.

Two high schools and most primary schools in the affected areas have been closed, and electricity has also been cut.

Some who fled said that they brought enough food to meet their needs for a few days, but worry that it might not last if the water doesn’t recede soon. Many others, however, are in immediate need of assistance.

“The refugees don’t have enough food, clean drinking water and sanitation,” said Kyaw Thiha.

He added that water levels have remained stable since this morning.

Myitkyina was also heavily flooded in 1979 and 2004.