Weather Concerns Halt Water Transit in Irrawaddy Region

By Salai Thant Zin 6 August 2019

PATHEIN, Irrawaddy Region—Water transportation services have been shut down in parts of Irrawaddy Region on Monday due to heavy rains and strong winds, according to the regional private vessels supervisory committee.

The committee has instructed all private ferry operators to cease operations between the capital town of Pathein and the coastal towns Pyapon, Bogale, Labutta, Ngapudaw townships, as well as Haigyi Island, according to U Taing Aung, the committee’s chairman.

Sixteen ferry operators run about 60 vessels and hovercrafts for passenger and cargo transportation along those routes, with Pathein as their base.

“We have shut down all ferry service due to the terrible weather. As soon as the weather clears up, we will report to the regional government and resume service,” U Taing Aung told The Irrawaddy.

Because sea routes are the major means of transportation for rural communities in the Irrawaddy Region, the shutdown has halted commodity flows.

According to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, in the 24 hours preceding noon Monday, 4.80 inches of rainfall had been recorded in Myaungmya Township and 4.25 inches in Pathein.

The department reported on Tuesday morning that a low pressure area over northern portions of the Bay of Bengal are forecast to intensify into a depression over the next 48 hours, while vigorous monsoons persist over the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. Surface wind speed in squalls may reach 40 to 45 miles per hour, with wave heights reaching about 10 to 15 feet off of and along Myanmar’s coasts.

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