Myanmar dam breach floods town, two villages; blocks highway -fire dept

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29 Aug 18 - ​YANGON (Reuters) - Water breached a dam in central Myanmar on Wednesday, flooding a nearby town and two villages as well as a highway connecting the country's three most important cities, Yangon, Mandalay, and the capital Naypyitaw, the fire department said on its Facebook page.

The Myanmar Fire Services Department started a search-and-rescue operation and dispatched a fire brigade to the vicinity of the dam, called Swar. The flood inundated a nearby town of the same name.

The fire department also shut down the Yangon-Mandalay highway bridge in the area. Pictures posted on the department's Facebook page showed the bridge with water levels underneath elevated nearly to the surface of the road and firefighters, police and military officials gathered by its side, monitoring the situation.

A local newspaper, Kumudra, posted a video on Facebook showing the commander-in-chief of Myanmar's army, Min Aung Hlaing, present at the site.

"We have only received the preliminary information about this right now, as per what we posted on our Facebook page. The team there is working now for rescue and necessary actions," said an official in charge from the fire department who declined to give his name.

(Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski, Shoon Naing, Sam Aung Moon, Aye Min Thant; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)


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