Mandalay braces for Ayeyarwady River flooding

w_52923164 A file photo shows the U Bein Bridge, submerged in flood water, at Taungthaman Lake in Amarapura township, in Mandalay in August 2016. Photo: EPA-EFE

28 July 2020 - Source: Myanmar Times - The Ayeyarwady River in Mandalay Region could overflow in the next two days, as it reached the height of 12.33 metres on July 26, said the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.

The department said the river is rising about one centimetre per hour and is only about 30 centimetres below the danger mark of 12.60 metres. The river could breech the danger level in two days.

"The water level in Mandalay and Myinmu [township in Sagaing Region] could top the danger level in the next day or two," said U Kyaw Lwin Lwin Oo, director general of the department for the region.

The department called on all people living along the river to be alert for floods.

U Thein Lwin, a long-time resident along Strand Road in Mandalay, said the river rises more during leap years.

"The river will eventually subside but will rise again in August," he said. "This kind of water is called aung yay, or good water for paddy."

U Win Than Hlaing, head of the river office in Chan Aye Tharzan township in Mandalay, said the river is rising significantly in both its upper and lower stretches.

He recalled that in 1970, the river's level rose four feet above flood stage and stayed there for 17 days. He added that in August 2016, the river rose two feet above the danger level.

"The river reached nearly one foot above the danger level on July 19, 2019," he added.

U Win Than Hlaing said that villages in Amarapura township flood every year due to rain and the rising river, which forms the border between Mandalay and Sagaing.

He said the U Bein Bridge and Inwa ancient city also flood when the Ayeyarwady reaches the danger level. – Translated

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