MYITKYINA, Jul 16, 2019, Myanmar Times. More than 23,000 people have been affected by floods as a result of heavy rains across Myanmar so far this month, according to the Disaster Management Department. Most of the casualties have been in Kachin State in northern Myanmar. More than 15,000 in Myitkyina, Paletwa, Hkamti, Katha and smaller villages have been affected or displaced by floods, reported the Myanmar Times.
Daw Sanda Hlaing, an officer at the Kachin Disaster Management Department, said 24 relief camps have opened in Myitkyina providing shelter and support to those affected.
She added that although flood waters appear to be receding for now, conditions are not yet safe for those now seeking shelter at the camps to return home.
Regional officials have distributed rice at the relief camps, which are mostly set up in religious buildings and schools with sufficient capacity to provide shelter from the floods.
The current floods are not the worst Myanmar has experienced. “We faced worst storms and flooding in 2004. However, current water levels are still over the danger zone,” Daw Sanda Hlaing said.
Heavy showers in recent weeks have seen water levels in major rivers like the Ayeyarwady, Chindwin, Sitaung, Kaletan and Laymyo rising, leading to floods in some regions and states. Mon, Sagaing, Chin and Rakhine states are also experiencing floods.
River levels in Myitkyina, Bhamo, Shwegu, Katha, Hkamti, Humalin, Taungngu, Maduck, Paletwa, Kyauktaw and Mrauk-U are all above their danger zones.
The Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) has advised people who live close to the river and low-lying areas in Homalin, Katha, Paletwa and Kyauktaw to take precautionary measures.
Although thousands have been affected by the rising water levels, relief camps have yet to be set up in most areas, an official of the Chin State Disaster Management Department said.
The DMH has warned of heavy rains in Karen, Tanintharyi and Mon regions coming from the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal over the next two days.