At least 27 people have died following flooding in Myanmar which has reportedly also affected more than 150,000, VOA reported Sunday saying the numbers are expected to rise, as the government, military and relief organizations work to carry out rescue operations and provide aid.
Myanmar’s President Thein Sein reportedly visited northern Myanmar, one of four areas where he has declared a state of emergency. VOA says weeks of heavy rains, made worse by a cyclone that hit late last week, caused flooding and landslides that have hit the western part of the country hardest. Some areas have seen floodwaters several meters deep.
In Rakhine state, along Myanmar’s southwestern coast, the U.N.’s humanitarian agency said Saturday that there are reports of “extensive damage” to camps around Sittwe, where 100,000 people already displaced by conflict in Myanmar have been staying.
Last week, President Thein Sein reportedly urged government officials to directly supervise flood relief operations.Though rain has stopped in most areas, the recovery effort is a major test for impoverished Myanmar, which has only basic infrastructure and medical facilities.
According to reports from VOA, nearly 525,000 acres of farmland has been affected, an area roughly the size of Luxembourg, and more than 34,000 acres of paddy fields damaged, mostly in the Sagaing, Kachin State, Bago and Rakhine state regions, the agriculture ministry said.