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Red Cross calls for donations as floods continue

Emergency response teams from the Myanmar Red Cross come to the assistance of flooding victims in August 2015. (Photo: ICRC)

The Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) has called for donations to help communities affected by monsoon flooding this year.

Residents of 21 townships around the country, including in Magwe, Mandalay, Sagaing, Pegu, Irrawaddy and Rangoon divisions and Mon and Kachin states, have been affected by flash floods this monsoon.

The MRCS said it is distributing food, water and other necessities to the flood victims and but more help is needed, especially in Pegu’s Padaung, Shwetaung, Zigon, Letpadan, Monyo and Prome townships and Rangoon’s Okkan, Taikkyi and Hmawbi townships.

The group, which is urging people across the country to donate for the flood victims by contacting their local MRCS offices, is at the moment providing assistance to around 16,000 families affected by the disaster, with local Red Cross volunteers helping people to evacuate flood-hit areas and providing them with basic medical assistance and moral support.

According to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, the number of people affected by flooding nationwide has risen steadily over the past week, reaching 420,000 people in 98,000 households as of Thursday. One week ago, the ministry put the figure at 170,000.

Six people have also been reported dead as a result of severe flooding that began in mid-July.

The ministry said that some shelters in northern parts of the country, including Kachin State and Sagaing, Magwe and Mandalay divisions, have been closed as floodwaters begin to recede. In the south, however, water levels remain high.

The ministry has so far spent more than 468 million kyat (US$395,000) to aid people affected by the floods, state media reported on Friday.