Myanmar faces early monsoon woes

Rain lashes Yangon as large parts of the country get an early dose of the monsoon’s force.

Myanmar has experienced an early taste of the monsoon season, with low pressure air pockets and storms coming in from the sea.

Meteorologist Chit Kyaw has warned that the weather department had detected yet another storm on its way in the Bay of Bengal, likely hitting Yangon on May 25.

He forecasts heavy rains across a number of regions in Myanmar.

Ever since the rains begans began building up, associated strong winds caused damage to property, especially in less developed rural areas.

Among areas affected on May 21 were townships in Magway where trees, power poles and other structures were knocked down by the winds. Electricity for the whole city was cut and at least 60 homes were reportedly damaged.

In Hinthada on the same day, 350 homes were reportedly damaged as well.

However, despite the rain and heavy winds sweeping across rural Myanmar, several places are experiencing a rise in temperatures and, surprisingly, water shortages.

Villages in the Ngaputaw and Laputa townships in the Ayeyawady Region continue to face shortages of drinking water, requiring Rural Development Department and civil volunteer groups to donate thousands of litres in these areas.

The recent rains, according to a volunteer, only served to muddy up whatever water is available and flood the roads instead of easing the situation.

“The situation is getting worse for areas all the way alongside the Pathein–Ngaputaw Road and it are likely to worsen in the coming week. It might mean that the people who are actively donating and distributing water cannot keep up,” said volunteer Aung Soe Moe.