Sunday, 17 November 2019

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Flash flood in Chin Hills sweeps farmer to his death

New Delhi (Mizzima) – A 64-year-old man was washed down a creek in a flash flood in Chin State over the weekend after more than a week of incessant torrential rain in Burma’s west, villagers said. His body was found the next morning.

Farmer Huat Kam was walking home from inspecting his orange orchard near Kyauhtiya village about 16 miles (26 kilometres) from Htantalang Township late on Saturday out of concern over storm damage when a sudden torrent bore down nearby Mau creek and swept him away, Salai Lian Zahtang, also from Kyauhtiya, said.

“There’s been heavy rain for a whole week and it’s still raining now. He heard his farmland was damaged … and visited his orchard,” he told Mizzima.

His relatives and villagers searched for him all night and finally found his body between the village centre and the orchard at around 9 a.m. on Monday. He was buried at about 2 p.m.

Huat Kam owned the six-acre (2.5 hectares) orchard about two miles east of the village and Mau creek flowed down the village side, adjacent to his farm. The creek is usually two feet (60 centimetres) deep but often rises to five feet after heavy rain, Salai Lian Zahtang said.

The region has been under drenching rain for the past nine days, inundating roads, bridges, farms and about 1,200 houses across eight villages.

“The people are facing great difficulties as they can do nothing in this heavy rain. It is harvest time and they will face famine if they can’t bring in their crops,” Salai Lian Zahtang said.

Floodwaters had damaged about one third of more than 2,000 acres of farmlands and two thirds of more than 1,500 hillside farms, local people said.

Mizzima inquiries to the local township and village peace and development councils for details about Huat Kam’s death proved fruitless. Villagers said they had received no assistance from these local authorities.


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