Floods leave wake of destruction

Hundreds of people are thought to be dead or missing after severe flooding in central Burma.

As floodwaters disperse the scale of the destruction in Burma’s Magwe division is becoming clear.

In Pakokku more than 1700 are still in temporary shelters, many have lost their homes, their livelihoods and their loved ones.

In the early hours of October 20th flood waters surged into the area, uprooting trees and houses while many were still sleeping.

Domestic news are quoting the official number of dead and missing at 215. But as bodies continue to be recovered some estimate the actual death toll could be far higher.

And 3 days after floods hit, towns such as Kyaukse, home of Burma’s former dictator Than Shwe, are still submerged.

Those who have lost their homes and families in the flood say they didn’t receive any warnings that the floods were coming

One woman told DVB reporters that she had seen her family swept away by the flood waters right in front of her, and said they had not been warned floods were coming by authorities.

While some have been able to salvage part of their homes, swamped by the sands, some monastries and homes have been swept away completely.

And although some local charities have begun a rescue effort, collapsed bridges, destroyed roads and disrupted power lines are causing difficulties.

This normally dry and sandy land, thrown into turmoil in the wake of the floods, is likely to take time to rebuild. With some too distraught to return to work, and many forced to remain in the camps while the rescue effort continues, it may be a while before the area can return to normal.

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