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Death toll from floods in Myanmar passes 100

Around half of deaths recorded been Rakhine state, where about 140,000 Rohingya Muslims live in makeshift displacement camps

By Joshua Carroll
August 11, 2015

YANGON, Myanmar -- The official death toll from floods wreaking havoc across Myanmar has passed 100, state media reported Monday, as residents in low-lying regions were warned to brace for more floods and rivers swelled to dangerous levels.

Almost one million people have been affected by the flooding after weeks of heavy monsoon rains followed by the arrival of Cyclone Komen.

All but two of Myanmar’s 14 states and regions have been affected in what local residents have called the worst flooding in decades.

Around half of the deaths have been in coastal Rakhine state, which bore the brunt of Cyclone Komen when it hit land late last month.

Some activists have accused authorities of neglecting the state’s persecuted Rohingya Muslims during the response to the disaster. Around 140,000 live in makeshift displacement camps following communal violence in 2012.

The UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said Friday that she had been denied permission to visit the state during her tour of the country last week. 

More than 1.2 million acres of rice fields have been inundated, and over a third of that has been destroyed, according to the country’s Ministry of Agriculture.

Almost 2,500 schools remain closed in the worst affected areas after being hit by landslides and floods, the Ministry of Education said. Hundreds of other schools have been reopened, the state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported Monday.

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