Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Death toll in Myanmar landslide climbs to 56

Residents look at an area affected by a landslide in Mutkyi Myanmar on Aug 12 2019 Myanmar Landslide Kills 34, Many More Feared Missing
Patty Aguilar | 13 August, 2019, 01:15

The intense monsoon rains have also forced the evacuation of almost 38,000 people across the country, according to the UN.

A deluge of mud had descended on Thae Pyar Kone village in Monday state on Friday, and washed out homes and a monastery.

As the rainy season reaches its peak, the country's armed forces are pitching in and have readied helicopters to deliver supplies. "Our regional military commands are working to help with the search and rescue process in disaster areas", Brigadier-General Zaw Min Tun told Agence France-Presse.

Rain pounded Mon, Karen and Kachin states, flooding roads, destroying bridges and forcing people to flee by boat.

Families realized they had to leave in the early hours Sunday, packing possessions into boats, rowing toward higher ground or swimming away. But the bulk of the relief effort is focused on hard-hit Monday, which sits on the coast of the Andaman Sea.

"I dragged a woman and two children from a vehicle but I could not reach two other people, so I had to leave them", the 30-year-old said. "That's why we survived".

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About 89,000 people have been displaced by floods in recent weeks, though many have since returned home, said the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"I heard a huge noise and turned round to see my home being hit by the mud", she said, crying.

Second Vice President Henry Van Thio visits the site of a landslide in Mottama, Paung Township, Mon State, in southern Myanmar, on August 11, 2019.

"Rescue work will continue in coming days as 29 villagers are still reportedly missing", it said in a press release on Sunday evening (9 pm local time).

Climate scientists in 2015 ranked Myanmar at the top of a global list of nations hardest hit by extreme weather.

That year more than 100 people died in floods that also displaced hundreds of thousands.

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