Four dead, three missing following dam breach

By WIN ZAR NI AUNG

YANGON — Four people have died and three remain missing after a dam breach flooded a huge area of northern Bago Region, an official has confirmed.

Daw Phyu Lai Lai Htun, a director in the Department of Disaster Management, said more than 36,000 people had also been displaced by the flooding as of August 30.

The Swar Chaung Dam breached its banks early on August 29, inundating nearby Yedashe and Taungoo townships, damaging a bridge on the Yangon-Mandalay Expressway and closing the Yangon-Mandalay Highway.

State media reported that the breach flooded Swar town and 85 villages, affecting more than 60,000 people.

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Phyu Lai Lai Htun said the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement was providing cash to flood victims so they could buy rice. 

“The water level receded yesterday,” she said. “But the rise in the water level of the Sittaung River at Taungoo has increased the number of people affected. We can’t say yet when the water will subside.”

Those missing included a Tatmadaw major, a driver and a grade five student, she said.

The government was still calculating the damage caused by the flooding, including the destruction of homes and infrastructure, she added.

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