No help from junta as floods sweep southeastern Myanmar
Local aid groups and volunteers say they have led rescue efforts in Mon and Kayin states
28 July 2021 - Source: Myanmar Now - Junta-controlled authorities have offered no help as floods have inundated homes in southeastern Myanmar, leaving at least hundreds without shelter in the Mon State capital of Mawlamyine and the border town of Myawaddy, local charities said.
Rescue efforts have been self-organised and supported by volunteers, they said, while authorities have failed to set up flood relief camps or provide food aid to those affected.
Residents in the Mawlamyine neighbourhoods of Zayar Thiri, Zayar Myaing, Thaya Aye and Hlaing were evacuated after the Salween river burst its banks on Monday, the leader of a charity group in the city told Myanmar Now.
"There is no relief camp right now," said a representative from another Mawlamyine charity. "We delivered steamed rice, eggs and Ma Ma instant noodles to those who could still live upstairs. We donated food along with individual donors."
Since the floods started on Monday, some 26 people believed to have died from Covid-19 have been cremated at the local cemetery in Mawlamyine, according to both charities.
"According to our list, the dead are of various ages," said the representative.
Five neighbourhoods in Myawaddy near the Thai border, and three in Kyainseikgyi in Kayin State, were also inundated and residents have been evacuated by local charity groups, according to a resident and a volunteer.
"There are about 1,000 flood victims. The military has not provided assistance yet. Only free funeral service groups came, and they rescued every victim," said a Myawaddy resident.
It is unclear if anyone has been killed by the floods and the exact number of people who have been evacuated across the region is still unknown.
Myanmar Now was unable to reach junta officials for information about their response to the floods.
Heavy rains are expected to continue in Mon State and Tanintharyi Region until August 1, according to the National Unity Government's Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.