Flooding inundates villages in central Burma

Flooding inundates villages in central Burma

Several villages in central Burma’s Pegu division were inundated this week with water from local reservoirs after several days of heavy raining.

Over 10 villages near the Sittaung River were flooded after local authorities opened sluice gates at several local reservoirs.

According to local residents, the water started rising on the evening of 28 October and now hundreds of acres of farmland in Swa township are completely inundated. Farmers say they risk losing their crops unless the water is drained in the next few days.

Pegu’s Taungoo, Yedashe and Swa townships have all been affected.

“The flooding came just when our rice farms are about to be ready for cultivation – there are over 1000 acres of farmland inundated alongside the Sittaung River and between 800-900 acres by the Swa Creek,” said Pho Thar, a local resident in Swa town.

“If the water stays for next couple of days, the rice paddy will be destroyed.”

Meanwhile, Taungoo town’s resident Aung Zeya said low-lying residential areas have been completely submerged and seven relief camps opened in the town to shelter displaced families.

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“Families from about 12 villages alongside of the river are taking shelter at the camps in the town,” said Aung Zeya, adding that the flooding has also disrupted local transportation routes.

Heavy rains have battered Burma over the past few months, causing the worst flooding in a decade. Magwe division is currently also affected, while large parts of eastern Burma were inundated earlier this year.

According to the UN, nearly 50,000 people across the country have already been displaced by monsoon rains and flash floods this year, with some 70,000 acres of farmland flooded or destroyed.

Burma is one the most disaster prone countries in the Asia Pacific, identified by the UN as vulnerable to a range of hazards including floods, cyclones, earthquakes, landslides and tsunamis.

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