Published: Tue, August 13, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Tens of thousands flee homes in flood-hit Myanmar

Tens of thousands flee homes in flood-hit Myanmar

But this year's deluge has tested the government's ability to respond after a fatal landslide on Friday in southeastern Monday state was followed by heavy flooding that reached the roofs of houses and the tops of street signs in nearby towns.

Around 89,000 people have been displaced by floods in recent weeks, although many have since been able to return home, according to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"The total death toll has reached 51 people", the Myanmar fire services department said on its Facebook page.

Bago, Tanintharyi, and Karen states and regions have also been badly hit, leaving emergency responders severely stretched. Rescue workers carried the body of a landslide victim in Paung township, Monday state, on Saturday. Pictures from the area showed residents heading to higher ground by boat or swimming.

As the rainy season reaches its peak, armed forces are pitching in. "We thought we were dead", she said.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there are now more than 80,000 people taking shelter at evacuation sites across the country.

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The search for victims continued later Sunday though the rain has made the process more hard.

"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.

Tin Htay described how he and his family managed to escape when the landslide hit his house and his efforts to rescue others trapped by the mud.

Vice President Henry Van Thio visited landslide survivors in a Paung township village on Saturday and "spoke of his sorrow" while promising relief assistance, the paper reported.

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

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