Hundreds of thousands displaced in Myanmar flooding
By Anadolu Agency
August 9, 2016
August 9, 2016
Outside of central planes, flooding across western Rakhine State - home to Rohingya Muslims - also affected 1000s of people
YANGON, Myanmar -- Around 360,000 people have been temporarily displaced in Myanmar as of Tuesday with the low-lying regions of the country continuing to see an increase in water levels.
Incessant downpours over the past five weeks have brought floods to eight regions along the three main rivers of the country, including the Ayeyawady -- the country's main inland waterway that flows from north to south.
Though the level of the Ayeyawady has gradually dipped, the numbers of flood victims have been on the rise as some regions in the central and southern parts remain underwater.
“Some relief camps in upper parts of the country are closed, but the dangerous water levels in the lower parts affect more and more people,” Soe Aung, the permanent secretary of Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
Geographically, Myanmar sees itself in two sections -- upper Myanmar (the north and central parts, and mostly higher regions) and lower Myanmar (the south and southeast, which are mostly low-lying areas).
Nearly 360,000 people have been displaced in Magway, Mandalay, Sagaing, Kachin, Ayeyarwady, Mon, Yangon and Bago regions by widespread flooding with heavy rains from a storm in the Bay of Bengal sweeping across the country, according to data from Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement
“About 200,000 displaced people are in central Magway regions,” said Soe Aung.
“However no casualties have been reported yet.”
After days of torrential rains early last month, flooding across Western Rakhine State -- the home to a majority of the country's Rohingya Muslims -- also affected thousands of people and forced more than 400 schools to suspend classes.
Floods are common in Myanmar during the monsoon period that begins May to June and runs to July and August.
Last year, almost 100 people died and around one million people were affected by flooding across the country, according to the government.
Reporting by Kyaw Ye Lynn; Writing by Marcus Brogden