Extreme weather in Shan state has inundated farmlands and destroyed homes, wiping out crops in Kengtung for the third time this year.
Heavy rain lasting several days caused the Namhkun and Namhket creeks to overflow, flooding the surrounding farmlands and causing the collapse of two bridges, connecting Kattauk and Yangain villages, and Yangpauk and Wantpan villages.
Sai Hmu, secretary of the Yangain village-tract administration, said that at least five acres of watermelon and 50 acres of rice paddy in the area were destroyed. Additional damage is still being assessed.
“The villagers would like some help. We are compiling a report of the destruction and will submit it to the township administration,” said Sai Hmu.
The flood water also reached into the lowlands of Katnalon, Kenglek, and 3rd and 4th wards in Kengtung, but the floods had subsided within a day. Damage to these areas was less severe, though some shop stalls in the town’s market were also affected.
Nan Woe Phat, leader of local charity group Mawk Kwung Social Assistance Organisation, said silt left behind by the past two floods in August and September this year still remained in nearby Katwon village-tract, hindering local residents from rebuilding their homes, a full three months after the waters subsided.
Kengtung township has been prone to yearly flooding since 1989, which environmentalists have attributed to deforestation and a build-up of sludge in the creeks in the region. Sai Win Myint, a member of the National League for Democracy’s central executive committee, said that local authorities pledged to clear up the creeks about four years ago but have yet to begin.
Also in Shan state, a 15-year old student was killed and nearly 46 homes were destroyed when severe winds tore through Wapya and Kukaw villages in the state’s southern Danu Self-Administrated Zone.
A local charity worker said that the young man, Zaw Min Htet, suffered a severe head injury and died in Pindaya hospital on Monday.