Villagers flee after embankment of Bwatgyi dam lowers

Photo A family moves to safer place.

​18 Sept 18 - Eleven MyanmarPeople in some villages below Bwatgyi Dam fled their houses as the embankment of Bwatgyi dam lowered again on the evening of September 16.

In early September, the embankment of Bwatgyi Dam, located in Aunglan Township in Thayet District in Magway Region, sunk lower after a crack appeared from unknown damages.

Tin Kyaing, Dandaung village administrator said: "The 60 ft-long crack lowered below about two feet. In addition, there is an outflow of water from the spillway of the dam."

Officials from the irrigation department are inspecting it and preparing to repair the damaged part.

U Thaung Htike, Director of Magway Region Irrigation Department said: "We have covered the lower part with the waterproof sheet to prevent the inflow of water into the crack. We are not hiding anything. We will not pile on more earth on the lower part. Our measure is to bolster up the lower part in order to stop it further damage."

People from Tagundaing, Maungmahloke,Aleywar and Sindae village, all villages located on lower grounds of the village, are moving to the higher places.

Thein Aye, a local from Aleywar village said: "My family moved to a safer place two days ago. Almost all villagers fled the village as the embankment of dam lowered again yesterday. We will go home after the situation returns to normal."

Most of the villagers are worried as the collapse of a spillway of Swachaung Dam in Bago Region resulted in loss of lives and properties.

In 2001-2002, the Bwatgyi dam was built in order to irrigate 6,966 acres of farmlands. The dam is 4,620 feet in length and 113 feet in height and can store 73,190 acres of water.

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