Southwest Monsoon brings severe flooding to Myanmar: 13 000 people affected, 6 dead

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Heavy Southwest Monsoon rain season, brought severe flooding to several areas of Myanmar this week. More than 8 500 people were evacuated out of their homes, at least 6 people died and 13 000 people were affected. As further heavy rainfall is expected, the number of people affected is expected to rise.

The monsoon rainy season usually starts in May or June and continue until October. Heavy rain has been continually falling for almost two weeks. Around 132 mm (5.19 inches) of rain fell in a 24 hour period in Sittwe, Rakhine State on June 29. Between July 02 and 03, 120.9 mm (4.75 inches) was recorded  in Kyaukkyu in Rakhine State, according to World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

EU Humanitarian Department (ECHO) reported several recently sowed rice paddies were lost to the local farms, increasing the risk of severe acute malnutrition rates in the region. A damage assessment is currently in the process. Myanmar Red Cross is cooperating with the local authorities in evacuating families, distributing food and water and first aid kits in Buthidaug township.

“The floods have triggered landslides in some areas. It impacts access to roads and bridges, so unfortunately it hinders our relief efforts, but we are also used to these challenges,” said U Maung Maung Khin, head of disaster management for the Myanmar Red Cross Society, “We will continue to do our best to those who are in need of help. The figures are expected to increase in the coming days, as Red Cross assessment teams access remote areas of Rakhine affected by the flooding".

More rain in the upcoming days has been forecasted in the upper Sagaing and Tanintharyi Regions, Kachin, Kayin and Mon States, by the Myanmar's Department of Meteorology and Hydrology. The numbers of people affected is expected to rise, as further heavy rainfall is forecasted.

Featured image: Myanmar flood, July 02, 2015. Image credit: @IFRCAsiaPacific

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