Myanmar’s Puts Flood Death Toll at 103, With Nearly 1.3 Million Affected

2015-08-13
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A flood-affected resident swims in floodwaters at Kyaut Ye village in Myanmar's Irrawaddy region, August 11, 2015.
A flood-affected resident swims in floodwaters at Kyaut Ye village in Myanmar's Irrawaddy region, August 11, 2015.
AFP

Flooding and landslides caused by monsoon rains and the tail end of Cyclone Komen since last month killed 103 people and affected nearly 1.3 million people in Myanmar, a senior government official said on Thursday.

The flooding caused deaths and dislocation in ten of Myanmar's divisions and states, said officials from the Ministry of Social Welfare Relief and Resettlement.

People in Magwe and Sitgaing Divisions are still unable to return to their homes. Those two divisions in Western Myanmar as well adjacent Chin and Rakhine States, have been under a state of emergency since July 16, the officials said.

"103 people were killed and 1,280,000 have been affected,"  Win Shwe, director of the Ministry of Social Welfare Relief and Resettlement, told RFA's Myanmar Service.

"State and division officials submitted lists of dead and affected people as daily reports, and we made a summary." Win Shwe added.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said earlier this week that vast crop land was damaged and farmers needed seeds and equipment.

"While the water has receded in many areas, many roads and bridges were destroyed in the worst affected states and regions. Transportation remains a challenge for ongoing assessments and delivery of assistance," OCHA said in a statement on Aug. 11.

Much-needed international relief aid has been flowing in from other Asian countries, the United States, Europe and Australia, following appeals last week by the government of President Thein Sein and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The torrential rains and subsequent floods and landslides are the worst natural disaster since Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar in May 2008, killing roughly 140,000 people from a population of more an 50 million.

At the time, Myanmar’s military-led government came under fire for refusing to accept international aid.

Reported by Moe Klyar Oo for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khet Mar. Written in English by Paul Eckert.

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