Monday, 18 November 2019

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Natmauk Dam collapses flooding two villages; no one injured

New Delhi (Mizzima) – About 300 homes were flooded when the Kandaw Dam near Natmauk, Magwe Region, collapsed on Tuesday, spilling water into two villages and damaging crops.

The villagers said the dam collapsed about 11 a.m. after three days of heavy rain, flooding homes in Inn Gone north and south villages and damaging about 50 acres of pulses and beans fields.
“The dam collapsed to the west of the village and the flood water washed away the entire village. It was fortunate it happened in the daytime otherwise all of us could have perished,” a resident of Inn Gone north village told Mizzima.
The villager said no residents were injured, and they had time to release their animals from sheds. Only one cow died.

The flash flood lasted about one hour, damaging crops of pulses and sesame stored under villagers’ houses.

The Kandaw Dam was built 20 years ago. No personnel managed the dam site, and villagers had little warning.

“The Thit Yar Kine villagers upstream warned us of the danger of imminent collapse,” said a villager. After confirming the news, they released their animals and fled from the village, said Moe Gyi, a resident of Inn Gone village.

“The most fertile land around our village was eroded and now it’s turned to sandbanks. The pulses and bean farms are covered by sand. The crops were damaged and villagers lost a lot,” Moe Gyi said. He said the authorities who came to the village on Tuesday estimated the loss to the flood in crops and farmland at more than 200 million kyat (US$ 270,000).

After a record rainfall on Monday, the Yinn Creek Bridge connecting Natmauk and Taundwingyi was damaged by erosion to the base of the highway near the bridge and closed, said Natmauk residents.

“The bridge is still intact but the access roads were damaged in the flood by erosion. So there are gaps between the bridge and the access roads. A car cannot cross the bridge now,” said a local resident. Some wards and residential areas in Natmauk also flooded.

Burma has experienced heavy rain in both the wet and dry zones. In heavy rain on August 26 around Naypyitaw, two villagers were washed away in a flood and drowned.

The dry zone city of Pakokku in Magawe Region received 5.64 inches of rain on August 27, a 16-year record high. The normal rainfall in the area is 2.52 inches, according to the website of the Naypyitaw-based Meteorology and Hydrology Department.

On Tuesday, the water level in Hinthada and Zalun crossed the danger level by one foot and flood warnings were issued.

A depression in the northwest Bay of Bengal strengthened on Tuesday, causing rough seas in Burmese waters. The surface wind speed in the region could reach 35-40 mph, said the meteorology department.

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