Record October rain brings floods to southern Myanmar


Published: 2023-10-10 07:32

Last Updated: 2023-11-17 17:45

Record October rain brings floods to southern Myanmar
Record October rain brings floods to southern Myanmar

Floods sparked by record October rain hit parts of southern Myanmar Monday, inundating roads and fields and sending residents fleeing for higher ground.

Sunday, authorities reported that 200 mm of rain had fallen in the previous 24 hours in Bago region northeast of commercial hub Yangon -- a record for October.

The rainy season typically brings months of heavy downpours, but scientists say man-made climate change is making weather patterns more intense.

"Most of my belongings are ruined as they are floating in the water in my house," Bago resident Aye Kyi Ma, 47, told AFP from a boat on a submerged street.

"Now, I have to stay somewhere else," she said.

"There is no electricity and the water is not clean. So we have to buy our meal as we can't cook."

Rescuers said they recovered the body of one 60-year-old man in Bago.

In Pha Yar Gyi, near Bago, vehicles drove along roads where floodwaters reached bumper levels. Some residents floated along the water on makeshift rafts.

"In some places, the tide is as deep as a person's height," Aung Phyo Kyaw, a member of a local rescue team in Bago City told AFP.

People had moved to higher land and buildings such as monasteries and homes of their relatives to escape the rising waters, he said.

The military and police were also working with rescuers to reach people in flooded areas, he added.

The state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said the nearby Bago River could exceed its "danger level" by almost a meter in the coming days, warning local residents to take precautionary measures.

Flooding began in July and has affected nine of Myanmar's states and regions, including Rakhine, Kachin, Karen, Mon and Chin.

Myanmar is in the grip of a bloody civil conflict between the junta, which ousted the government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021, and armed groups opposed to its coup.