New Delhi (Mizzima) – A devastating third flood has hit Taungoo township of Burma over the last week, forcing more than 9,000 flood victims to seek refuge in nearby monasteries, bus stations and other areas.
According to residents, six quarters along the east bank of the Sittaung River in Taungoo, Bago Division, 170 miles north of Rangoon, are flooded.
Residents speculated that the water levels of the Swachaung Dam, Pathi Dam and Khabaung Dam exceeded their danger levels, and the authorities opened the dams’ water gates without warning them.
“The number of flood victims has increased. At least 300 flood victims are now taking refuge in camps, pagodas and monasteries. At most about 600 victims. The total of the people affected is 9,000 to 10,000,” a resident told Mizzima.
Flood victims have sought shelter at Lawkoattara Pagoda, Shwegugyi Pagoda in Htihlaing, and at a bus terminal. There are around 20 camps for flood victims in the area.
Seven schools have flooded and are closed, according to Sein Tun of Taungoo.
This is the third flood of the rainy season in Taungoo. Although many donors provided aid relief in the previous flood, so far only the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has donated 450 bags of rice this time, according to residents.
“We made bamboo rafts. Some people inflated three or four car inner tubes and then put wood on the inner tubes and used them to travel over the water,” Sein Tun said.
The water level of the Sittaung River is still above its danger level.
The Department of Meteorology and Hydrology has forecast that Burma would have unseasonable heavy rainfall, and there could be floods in October and November.