Flooding triggered by annual monsoon rains across Myanmar has killed 11 people and made 119,000 homeless, with relief workers struggling to find boats to deliver aid to inundated towns and villages and warning about food shortfalls, aid workers and government officials said on Monday.
Seasonal rains that have also hit Myanmar’s Southeast Asian neighbors Laos, Cambodia and Thailand have hit eight states and divisions in the country, where authorities have set up relief camps for thousands of villagers who have escaped to higher ground.
“Five states and divisions — Mon and Karen States; and Bago, Taninthayi, and Magway Divisions — have more than 119,000 victims from 25,000 households according to the list we have,” an officer from the National Natural Disaster Management Department told RFA’s Myanmar Service.
A second official said Ayarwaddy Division, Saigaing Division, and the capital Naypyidaw were also flooded.
In Bago division, more than 70,000 people have taken shelter at 150 temporary relief camps, while 25,000 have found haven at 67 relief camps in Karen State, In Mon State, 50 camps are housing 15,000 evacuees, and 6000 people are being are being accommodated at 11 camps in Taninthayi Division, authorities said.
The national government has provided food for victims at camps, while regional governments and lawmakers have formed groups and help victims who remain in villages.
“There are more than 20 villages flooded in Hpa-An township in Karen State. They are staying at higher elevations in groups, but they can’t go to relief camps as they don’t have motorboats to cross the strong current of the Thanlwin (Salween) River,” said Saw Kyaw San, a relief worker from Hpa-An.
“The water is about four feet high in the town, so we need boats to deliver food for flood victims. We are worried for them as the flood has been going on for about a week,” added Aung Moe, a relief worker from the Karen State Youth Organization.
Officials in Bago Division faced similar troubles.
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Reported by Thi Min Zin and Kyaw Lwin Oo for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khet Mar. Written in English by Paul Eckert.
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