Two die in Sagaing flooding

Flooding in Nyaungkan-Butalin Road in Butalin Township in the morning of July 18 after Thitkhelgyi dam bursted. (Photo - Soe Moe Tun)

Two people have died in flooding in upper Sagaing Region and thousands are suffering, especially in Thitkhelgyi village after its dam burst.

A monastery was swept away in the Monywa district village on Friday. Utility poles were washed away after the Yaywah stream flooded Kani Township, causing blackouts. A farmer and her child went missing in Winmanar village when the Phoemal burst its banks. The mother’s body was found but the residents are still searching for the four-year-old boy.

“The dam burst at around 11pm. They came to the village and called out with a loudspeaker for residents to drive away but it was too late. It happened very quickly. One of the buildings inside our monastery compound became detached and floated away. It only stopped after it hit a mango tree,” said the chief abbot of Thitkhelgyi village monastery in Budalin Township.

Flooding in Ye-U on July 18 (Photo – Aung Myat Thaung – Ye-U)

“It’s been three years since the Irrigation Department built the Thitkhelgyi dam and residents have suffered many negative consequences. They have not received any benefit. Their peanut and bean fields have become covered with water and sand,” he added.

Farmers have reported damage to paddy and sesame fields.

The Chinthae bridge in Paungbyin Township collapsed and floated away. Concrete roads in Mawlaik Township were damaged. Cars and motorbikes in Homalin Township are being transported by boat, according to the Sagaing Region government office.

“The number of flood victims is too many for us to estimate. We’re told the railway sleepers have been washed away. There is a foot of water near Kangyi [in Kale Township],” said Law Paung, a Chatthin fire department commander.

Flooding in Kyunhla (Photo – Ngwe Linn – Kyunhla)

Chatthin resident Tun Aung said: “Cows are trapped. Please send us manpower. We haven’t finished with our rescue efforts. We can’t look after other villages where houses have been washed away. We can’t help them and they are struggling. Water went over the top of our dam but it didn’t burst. Now they are digging an opening to release the water. Food can’t be distributed so they are rescuing the remaining families. We want help. I heard that the chief minister is coming.”

In Ye-U Township, around 26 families are seeking refuge at a gymnasium and monastery. A train is stuck in Inndaw and efforts are not being made to distribute food to the passengers.

Shwebo is reporting heavy damage.

Thitkhelgyi’s burst dam (Photo – Soe Moe Tun)

About 4.3 inches of rain has apparently fallen in 24 hours on Thursday and Friday with water three-feet deep reported on some roads. People and cows have been relocated to higher ground,” said Ko Aung from Naypukone village in Ye-U Township.

After Maha dam burst in Kanbalu Township, many homes were flooded and at least three trains running between Myitkyina and Mandalay were left stranded. Roads have been damaged, according to reports.

Police corporal Myo Min Oo from Hinthaw near Kanbalu drowned this morning,” said a police officer.