Tuesday, 19 November 2019

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Floods wash away homes in Phakant


New Delhi (Mizzima) – Following heavy downpours resulting in severe flooding, houses in a region of Kachin State famous for its jade mines have literally floated away, according to local residents.

Heavy rain, which started on the evening of July 20th, inundated the Ngapyawtaw, Myoma, Ayemyathaya and Mashikataung quarters of the village of Nantmaphyit in Phakant District, washing some five houses away. Only Mohang quarter, situated on high ground, was spared damage, residents said.

“The main road is 150 feet (46 meters) away from the Uru Stream. The flood reached the main road. My shop is about 90 feet (27 meters) away from the Uru Stream. Its height is about 10 feet (3 meters) from the ground. But, the water level reached my knee in my shop,” a tailor, who lives near Uru Stream, told Mizzima.

A resident from Ayemyathaya quarter related, “Many houses have been flooded. We can see flooded fields near Kanbawza Bank in the Ngapyawtaw quarter of Phakant. The water level has increased about six inches (15 centimeters) since yesterday evening. The water level has reached 20 feet (6 meters) above the stream level. It reached my waist in the ground floor of our house.”
Despite the damage, no deaths have thus far been reported.

The state-run newspaper The Mirror stated that as a result of heavy downpours in Phakant, the flooded Nammayang and Uru streams breached the 10 by 10 foot dyke near Gaday Village.

The newspaper also stated that local authorities, soldiers, Red Cross, police and social organizations helped victims to be evacuated from their homes following the floods.  

But, a resident from Ayemyathaya contended, “I have not heard that the authorities helped the victims. They gave a boat, which can carry about five people, to each quarter in our area. But, it’s not effective. So, we have difficulty in sending our children to school.”

Another resident from Ngapyawtaw further said, “I think the authorities should arrange food for the victims. It’s not a burdensome task for them. But, they don’t. For me, it’s no problem because I’m from the middle class. But, there are many poor people in our area. The grassroots people from the nearby area of Phakant and Uru Stream are encountering many problems.”

According to observations recorded at 9:00 a.m. yesterday by the Department of Metrology and Hydrology, the amount of rainfall recorded was 2.05 inches in Myitkyina and 1.57 inches in Homemalin, according to the state-run media.

Five jade mining companies, including Max Myanmar and Ever, previously dumped earth from mines into the Nammayang and Uru streams, exacerbating the consequences of the rainfall, according to local residents.

On July 4th of last year, 30 people died as a result of mudslides near Uru Stream, with another 20 killed by mudslides following heavy rains in late July 2008.

 

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