Sunday, 17 November 2019

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Seven townships in Arakan State flooded by record heavy rain


Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Because of record-breaking rainfall in seven townships in Arakan State, farms are flooded, roads are impassable and schools and markets are closed, residents said.
 
Heavy rain since Tuesday in Mrauk-U, Kyauktaw, Thandwe, Toungup, Gwa, Buthidaung and Maungdaw have left the area flooded, residents said. Many residents and livestock are finding access to food difficult.

The state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar said that Mrauk-U on Tuesday broke a 33-year rainfall record of 8.90 inches with 9.37 inches of rain; Toungup broke a 15-year rainfall-record of 13.07 inches with 29.10 inches.

The Department of Meteorology and Hydrology in Naypyitaw on Friday issued a forecast calling for heavy rain in Arakan State and heavy rain in Kachin, Karen and Mon states and Pegu and Taninthayi regions during the next 24 hours.
 
Occasional squalls with rough seas will continue along the Burmese coast with surface wind speed in squalls up to 45 miles per hour, the forecast said.

Flooding severely hit Mrauk-U, where one high school student was killed in the flood. In the quarters of Mrauk-U, the water level reached 4-feet above ground. Flood victims have taken refuge in monasteries and schools, residents said.
 
“The rain has poured down since four days ago. Because of the continuous rain, the water level has reached the height of a person’s chest,” said a high school teacher in Mrauk-U. “Without using boats, we cannot go anywhere in the town. We cannot go to other towns. The environment is like a sea.”
  
Tens of thousands of acres of farms have been inundated. Livestock are suffering and have not had food since Monday in many areas.
 
Flooding also hit Kyauktaw, Thandwe, Toungup, Gwa, Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships. Since Tuesday, the water level has been rising in Toungup and schools have been closed. Residents in Toungup have struggled to buy food.
 
“The floods are not subsiding. Now, we cannot see the farms and the villages seem like islands. Water inundated the whole area,” said a resident in Toungup.
 
The Thandwe-Toungup Road is impassable.
 
A resident in Kyauktaw said, “The rain is still falling. If it continues, we will encounter problems like a famine. Now, there is a scarcity of food in the markets. Because the roads are closed, sellers cannot come here.”
 
Residents said that the 17-mile long Buthidaung-Maungdaw Road was destroyed at the section eight mile from Buthidaung because it was eroded by torrents of water.
 
The water level at the Municipal Market in Buthidaung reached 5-feet above the ground. The Taungpuza habour near the market and four quarters in the town are flooded. At least 20 nearby villages have been flooded, according to residents.
 
“We cannot go anywhere. It’s like a sea. Monks have difficulty getting food. So we have to cook ourselves,” a monk in Buthidaung told Mizzima.
 
Quarters No. 1 and No. 4 in Thandwe and nine nearby villages are also flooded.

The flooded roads in Arakan State have prevented trucks from Rangoon to access the area starting two days ago, an official with the Rangoon-based Ye Man Aung Transportation told Mizzima.
 
Twenty villages in Kawa Township in Pegu Region are flooded and paddy fields were inundated. Hinthada Township in Irrawaddy Region is also flooded and the market and a school were closed.
 

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