45 dead as floods wreak havoc in Burma

45 dead as floods wreak havoc in Burma

At least 45 people have been reported dead and up to 150,000 affected in 11 states and divisions across the country.

Burma’s President Thein Sein has travelled to areas devastated by floods after a state of emergency was declared.

The Burmese president inspected damage in Sagaing Division, where the military is coordinating relief efforts. Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, returning from an official visit to India, flew directly to Sittwe, the state capital of Arakan, which has suffered the worst of the monsoonal rains with 18 persons listed as dead.

State media on Sunday quoted Thein Sein promising that the government would “make utmost efforts to provide aid to flood victims across the country.”

Floodwaters were as high as 2.5 metres in Sagaing and 4.5 metres in western Arakan, according to the government, which on Friday declared four regions disaster zones.

The 2015 monsoon looks set to be the worst natural disaster in Burma since Cyclone Nargis wreaked havoc in 2008, killing more than 130,000 people, mostly in the Irrawaddy delta.

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The Reuters news agency cited the Ministry of Agriculture saying that nearly 525,000 acres of farmland has so far been affected, an area roughly the size of Luxembourg, and more than 34,000 acres of paddy fields damaged, mostly in the Sagaing, Kachin State, Pegu [Bago] and Arakan regions.

In a statement, Eamonn Murphy, the UN’s resident and humanitarian coordinator, said, “The UN and international humanitarian organisations have offered their support and are already working closely with the Myanmar authorities at local, State, and Union levels to assess urgent needs and are providing support to the humanitarian response.

“We have dispatched assessment teams to the most affected areas to evaluate the humanitarian situation and identify priorities in terms of water and sanitation, shelter, food, and other relief items.”

Read more background on BURMA FLOODS

DVB clip of reporter chest-high in floodwater goes viral

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