Floods leave thousands homeless, schools closed in Myanmar

MYANMAR - The number of flood victims taking shelters in Hinthata Township in the Ayeyarwaddy Region is on the rise as the Ayeyarwaddy River continue to overflow its banks.

The river had overflowed its banks on September 16 in the township and its water level remained above the alarm level since then, causing local people to flee their homes, officials said.

Around 960 people are taking shelters in the township, according to official data collected till the afternoon of September 21.

"Yesterday another monastery in Yelel village [in the township] was made a new temporary shelter. The number of people taking shelters is still rising," said the administrator for Sitgon village tract.

About 580 people from seven villages in the Sitgon are taking shelters in four monasteries and one primary school nearby. And around 370 people from other villages in Taunglonesu village tract have also made nearby monasteries their temporary shelters.

Due to the flooding, 26 schools in the township have officially applied for temporary shut-down, the township education department said. "We are informed in advance that 10 schools will have to be shut down due to the flooding. Today [September 20] another 15 schools have applied for temporary shut-down. All schools will be shut down today and they also submitted an expected date to open again," said San San Ye, the township education officer on that day.

Ooredoo, Qatar's telecom company had donated US$40,000 on September 13 to Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, for flood victims across the country which encountered widespread flooding recently in its states and regions during this monsoon. The company also donated $20,000 in August as a humanitarian aid for the flood victims.

More than 30,000 people were made homeless by the severe flooding across the country during this season, according to official data.