Government officials in Myanmar said on Monday that the monsoon flood killed at least 11 people and forced over 100,000 people to flee their homes. Rescuers have taken stranded residents to safe areas by boat.
Since last week, heavy rain has hit the southern, eastern and central parts of the country, blocking highways, destroying bridges and flooding large areas of land.
According to Nway Nway Soe, Assistant Director of the Disaster Management Department, 11 people were killed, including three soldiers who assisted in the rescue operations.
Nway Nway Soe said:
“Eleven deaths so far. More than 119,000 are currently displaced. The disaster management department is providing the flood victims with rice and other dry rations such as noodles and canned fish.”
Win Myat Aye, Social Welfare Minister of Myanmar, said three people drowned in southern Mon State on Monday.
The government has urged people to leave low-lying areas and enter relief shelters.
“We are trying to raise awareness among people who think that the flood might drop within three or four days to be more cautious.”
According to official media reports, heavy rains washed away part of a 60-meter concrete bridge in northern Shan State, while rice fields and roads in central Kayin suffered severe damage.
The aerial imagery shared on social media shows a muddy brown deluge that covers a large area of land and residents.
The Myanmar Red Cross dispatched workers to help transport people safely and distribute first aid kits and water purification tablets.
Ye Wint Aung, Deputy Communications Director at the Red Cross Society commented:
“Regarding those who are stranded, we try to rescue them depending on the situation of the location and if we have the capacity.”
Some parts of Myanmar are flooded each year during peak monsoon season, causing frequent landslides and extensive damage to farmland and infrastructure in Southeast Asian countries.
The country experienced the worst monsoon flood in a decade in 2015, where approximately 100 were killed and more than 330,000 people displaced.
Knut Ostby, the U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, commented:
“The UN in Myanmar is mobilising its partners, resources and capacity and is offering to provide support to the ongoing assistance delivered to the victims of the floods by the government of Myanmar.”
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Image credit: UN