14 000 people living in Myanmar’s Bago city were forced to evacuate their homes over the weekend after record-breaking rains hit the region, causing severe flooding.
Floodwaters in Bago city, northeast of Yangon, reached waist-deep levels, compelling residents to wade down streets or use boats and rubber tires as makeshift modes of transportation. State broadcaster MRTV confirmed that 14 000 people have been displaced across the Bago region, with 5 600 individuals currently accommodated in government temporary relief centers.
On Sunday, October 8, 2023, authorities recorded 200 mm (7.9 inches) of rain within 24 hours, marking it as the new daily record for October rainfall. Heavy rainfall persisted through Monday night.
The disruptions caused by the flooding also affected essential services. Reports indicate that the lower floors of Bago’s general hospital are submerged, making medical care challenging to access. Additionally, communication has become a significant hurdle as three of Myanmar’s four telecom providers are currently non-operational in the affected areas.
A flooded street in Hpa Yar Gyi township in #Myanmar's #Bago region on October 9, 2023. Authorities said 200mm (almost 8 inches) of rain fell in the last 24 hours in Myanmars Bago region, setting a new record for the month of October. Photos: Sai Aung Main/AFP pic.twitter.com/4eztD4IHZf— Htar Thakhin (@htartha76128693) October 9, 2023
Phwar Than Hme, a 101-year-old resident, described her traumatic experience, stating that this was the first time her house had ever been flooded. She was carried to a monastery for shelter by neighbors and rescue personnel. Another resident, 69-year-old Chit Nyunt, was caught off guard by the intensity of the floods, stating, “I have never seen anything like this.”
The floods were not localized to just Bago but have impacted nine of Myanmar’s states and regions, including Rakhine, Kachin, Karen, Mon, and Chin.
1 14,000 displaced in Myanmar after record rain sparks floods – AFP – October 10, 2023
Featured image credit: Chaudhary Parvez (stillshot)
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