Flooding handled poorly, says senior Mon official

flooding While floodwaters in Ye township, Mon State, continue to recede gradually, some people in villages near the town remain cut off by high water in the wake of last week’s torrential rains. Phoe Wa/The Myanmar Times

13 Aug 19 - Source: Myanmar Times - A senior Mon State official has critised the government's disaster management efforts in the wake of the flooding that hit the state severely over the past week.

Mon State Assembly Deputy Speaker U Aung Naing Oo said more public announcements and supervision were needed.

"Until this morning (Monday), there has been no instruction from the Cabinet. Only the township administrator joined me in carrying out necessary tasks. The Cabinet gave no instructions to him," he said on Monday.

Many townships in Mon were flooded over the past week due to the monsoon. Kyaikmaraw and Ye townships were among the most severely hit. On Saturday, some 90 percent of Ye was under water, and many said it was the worst flood in 20 years.

"There has been no talk of preventive measures in the recent past. The government should have conducted studies on how to deal with floodwater. During the flooding, it should have made announcements and provided information to people. Whenever it floods now, local officials handle matters with whatever plans they have. It would be better if the government oversaw the efforts," said U Aung Naing Oo, adding that the failure of the telecommunications network was another major setback.

In Ye township on Monday, water levels were receding gradually, although rescues of trapped people were still being conducted in the villages of Man-aung, Koe Mile, Han Gan and Man Kyin.

Rescuers searching the site of a landslide in the state, found another body on Monday, bringing the official death toll in the slide to 59. Photo - EPA

"We haven't seen the government. Only the deputy speaker and social welfare organisations came here," said Ko Yawt Mon, a resident of Han Gan.

Military personnel and social welfare teams are conducting rescue work in the southern part of Ye, before attempting to help people in Kyaikmaraw.

A relief centre at Ye Stadium is currently housing some 6000 people displaced by the flooding, said township Administrator U Tin Nyunt.

He added that an estimated 40,000 people in the state have been displaced by flooding and landslides over the past week.

According to the Myanmar Fire Services Department, search and rescue work is continuing in Thayphu Kone village, near Paung township, where a large landslide hit last Friday. Rescue officials said another body was found on Monday, bringing the number of confirmed deaths to 59.

The Ministry of Health and Sports issued an announcement on Monday urging people in flood-hit areas to watch out for more rain, potential landslides, electrocution risks, and snakes.

The announcement also warned of diseases such as cold, pneumonia, dysentery, and typhoid that could strike as a result of the flooding. – Translated

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