Floods in Myanmar kill 12

Large areas of two townships in Rakhine state in the west of the country had been inundated after torrential rain this week.


DNA Web Team

Updated: Jun 16, 2010, 01:54 PM IST

Edited by

Heavy rain in Myanmar has triggered floods and landslides, washing away bridges, blocking roads and killing at least 12 people, district officials said on Wednesday.                           

Myanmar is no stranger to harsh weather and at least 140,000 people were killed in 2008 when a cyclone hit the south of the country.                                            
Large areas of two townships, or districts, in Rakhine state in the west of the country had been inundated after torrential rain this week, and at least a dozen people had been killed, an official said by telephone from the region.                                            
"I think the death toll will go up when we get to hear from nearby villages," said the official, who declined to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media.                                           

A road had been blocked by a landslide, he said.                     

The meteorological department said 13.47 inches (34 cm) of rain fell in the town of Maungdaw, on the border with Bangladesh, on Monday.                                           

Flooding had also hit the towns of Mrauk Oo and Kyauk Taw, about 350 miles (550 km) northwest of the city of Yangon, washing away three bridges, although no casualties had been reported there, another official in the region said.                                           
Deforestation had contributed to the problem, with rain pouring off bare slopes and eroding soil, which blocked waterways, he said.                                           

"The forests are gone and the creeks are choked. So flash floods are common in the rainy season," said the second official, who also declined to be identified.
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