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45,000 affected by floods in Irrawaddy delta

A house in the Irrawaddy delta inundated by flooding (PHOTO: DVB)

More than 45,000 people have been affected by flooding from the Irrawaddy River this week. In the delta region, at least 140 villages were inundated in Nyaungdon Township.

Ni Ni Moe, an MP in the Irrawaddy regional parliament, said the flooding began on 6 August, forcing the evacuation of villages surrounding the delta town of Maubin.

Maubin town itself was not severely affected by the flooding, but the surrounding villages were. At the moment we are focusing on preventing the water from reaching the town,” said Ni Ni Moe.

“The villagers affected were provided shelter in 20 relief camps set up across the town.”

She said 93 government schools in the town and nearby villages were temporarily closed.

The water level in Nyaungdon was measured at 26.3ft on Monday morning.

Meanwhile, around 200 villages in nearby Pantanaw Township, also in Maubin District, were also experiencing flash floods, said San Maung, the town’s MP in the regional parliament.

A village resident said hundreds of locals affected by the flooding were surviving on government handouts.

“As the whole district is experiencing the disaster, the handouts from the government are not enough for everyone. Some households were provided only three baskets of rice which lasted for just three or four meals for a large family,” said Phone Myint, a resident in Khanwe Kapo village.

“If the water continues to surge for the next two days, the irrigation walls in the area will likely start to break.”

He said the government’s Irrigation Department and the Housing Department were deploying sand bags around the town to brace for the next surge.

U Joseph, a local farmer in Sakhantaw village, said paddy fields in the area were inundated and likely to be ruined. This season’s rice crop was planted just over a month ago.

“All our farms in low-lying areas have been inundated after five days of flooding – the water was about up to 6ft,” said U Joseph.

“It would be nice if the government could provide some assistance, such as rice and clean water to drink.”

According to the latest statistics by the Department of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, up to 370,000 people in eight administrative regions across Burma have been affected by the flooding this monsoon season. Five persons have been killed by the floods.