Heavy monsoon rain triggers Mon State’s worst floods in 40 years, Myanmar

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Record-breaking monsoon rains affecting Myanmar’s Mon State since June 16, 2018, triggered landslides and worst floods parts of the state have seen in more than 40 years. At least 16 people have been killed or are missing across the country since 2018 Southwest Monsoon arrived more than a week ago.

Hundreds of people were forced to flee their homes on June 17 after floods swept Mawlamyine and other townships in Mon State after hours of heavy rain, the Myanmar Times reports.

Floods and landslides hit Mawlamyine before dawn, submerging homes and roads in what locals are describing as worst floods to hit the town in over 40 years.

Most areas in Mawlamyine are flooded, such as Thiri Mingalar, Thiri Myaing, Kyauk Tan, Zayar Thiri and Thaya Aye, the paper wrote.

“Normally, some quarters of the town would flood when the tide rises in the Thanlwin River, but this time was not only about tide but also about heavy rain, the drains in the town are overflowing,” one resident said.

There are over 1 000 people already moved to safety where they are being supported by civil society organizations and donors, spokesperson of the Mawlamyine rescue organization said.

U Htun Htay, Minister of Agriculture, said that the dams near Mawlamyine township are in the good conditions despite the flood and rain, adding that the flood was exacerbated by the failure of the government to fix the drainage system in the city.

The town of Mottama also suffered heavy damage with houses, a school and a hospital damaged.

The town of Mudon, about 22 km (13.6 miles) S of Mawlamyine, recorded 297 mm (11.69 inches) of rain in 24 hours between June 16 and 17, breaking the previous record high of 296 mm (11.65 miles) set in 2004.

Mawlamyine recorded 347.9 mm (13.7 inches), Chaung Zone 302 mm (11.89 inches) and Thanphyuzayat 157.9 mm (6.22 inches).

Heavy rains are expected to continue over the coming days.

Officials are warning people living near the coasts or river banks and on hillsides to be alert for storm surges, flash floods and landslides.

Featured image credit: Myanmar Red Cross Society

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