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Heavy rain fails to relieve dried-up Monywa

New Delhi (Mizzima) – A storm that ripped through Monywa in Sagaing Division for about an hour yesterday brought heavy rain but no relief to the city in a region that has been baked dry by intense summer heat and a late monsoon. 

Among Monywa’s 28 wards, Phayagyi, Ahleyat, Sulekone, Ohnchan, Aung Mingala, Lete, Yadanabon were badly hit by strong winds and heavy rain that caused widespread damage. 

“Houses lost roofs … lamp posts and trees on Al Lone Street fell in the northerly winds. Some trees on Tharzi Street were also toppled,” a resident of Ahleyat told Mizzima. “The wind and rain lasted for only an hour. There were no casualties but the rain gave us a bit of relief from the summer heat.”

wind--rain-monywa1sThough the wind brought some rain to the area, the wards in the city’s central high ground area are still facing serious water shortages. 

“Rainfall that lasts only an hour can’t refill dried-up wells,” a resident said. “The groundwater level is still very low so that in some places you have to dig six or eight feet down or more to reach the water level.”

“Many residents were digging tube wells in the city,” the resident said. “The Chindwin River, which flows by to the west of the city had a very low water level … and shoals were easily seen in some places.”

Under intense summer heat, between one and three old people and some heavy drinkers had died of brain haemorrhages daily in the city too, a doctor who runs a clinic in Aungchanthar ward told Mizzima on condition of anonymity. 

The casualty department of Monywa People’s Hospital was contacted to verify the report and a doctor on duty replied that some old people, children and casual labourers had died of heat stroke in recent days but that she was unauthorised to answer details regarding numbers or causes of the deaths. 

Eleven wards in Monywa on high ground, including Phayagyi, Ahleyat, Sulekone and Ohnchan, were facing severe water shortages as their wells had also run dry. Similarly Kanpyargyi, Kanpyarlay, Zaloke, Kyauksitpone and Kyauk Kar villages east of Monywa have also been hit by severe water shortages. 

At least 180 villages across lower and upper Burma are without adequate supplies of water for drinking and basic hygiene.

According to a report today from the national weather bureau, the maximum daytime temperatures were: in Chauk, Magwe Division, 45.9 Celsius; in Monywa, Magwe, Nyaung Oo and Myingyan in Mandalay Division, 45C; and in Minbu, Magwe Division, the maximum reached 44.6C.

Last Updated ( Monday, 17 May 2010 21:51 )  

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