5,000 flood victims seek shelter in Kalemyo

KALEMYO — More than 5,000 people have been provided with emergency accommodation in Kalemyo where the worst flooding in five decades has claimed at least three lives, township officials told Frontier on July 30.

People were continuing to arrive in Kalemyo in the far west of Sagaing Region after being forced from their homes by flooding caused by heavy rain that began on July 25, the officials said.

Three people died from flood-related injuries while en route to hospital on July 29, they said.

Floodwaters from the Myitthar and Nirinjara rivers, which rise in the mountains of neighbouring Chin State, had also forced the residents of nearly 20 villages to seek refuge in nearby Kalay and submerged more than 21,000 acres of rice fields, the officials said.

Emergency accommodation was being provided at high schools and Buddhist monasteries in Kalay and some were being sheltered at wedding halls, hotels and guest houses.

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Bullock carts were providing transport on Bogyoke Road, the main thoroughfare in Kalay, where farmers had tethered cows and pigs.

The flooding in Kalemyo has damaged most roads to the town, disrupted railway services and caused the cancellation of flights until August 3.

Meawnhile, officials said they were monitoring the Yazargyo Dam in Kalay Township, which had risen three feet over its hazard level of 650 feet on July 30.

The top official at the dam, U Maw Maw Naing, told Frontier that Kalemyo would be submerged within 30 minutes if the reservoir breached its wall.

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