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Myanmar: Floods and Landslides - Jul 2021

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Widespread floods in southern Myanmar (particularly the States of Kayin and Mon and Tanintharyi Region) since 22 July, has led to casualties and damage. According to media reports, 100 people were evacuated in Kayin State and 3,000 people affected. (ECHO, 28 Jul 2021)

Initial reports indicated that some 3,000 people have reportedly been affected, with 100 households evacuated from their homes in Hlaingbwe Township in Kayin State. In addition, more than 1,400 people in several wards in Myawaddy Town in Kayin State were evacuated to 10 relief camps on 26 July[...] Additional people, whose exact number could not be ascertained, have also been affected in several townships in Mon State, including in Mawlamyine and Ye.

In Rakhine, initial reports indicated that Kalar Chaung Monastery displacement site, hosting about 1,000 [IDPs] in Mrauk-U Township has been flooded on 25 July. This has affected approximately 24 out of 142 shelters within the displacement site. In Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships, over 600 households in several villages have been affected, while roads connecting communities have been blocked and power supply disrupted in Thandwe Township since 26 July; water levels on the roads have reached up to nine feet. Some 200 households in the township’s affected areas have been evacuated to safer locations by local volunteers; they are expected to return to their places of origin soon. In Kyaukpyu Township, Kyauk Ta Lone IDP camp, at least 27 families have had their temporary shelter damaged, and dozens of sanitation facilities damaged or destroyed due to the floods. The affected people are taking refuge in the higher sections of the camp, hosted by relatives.

Operational partners are currently collaborating with local aid groups and volunteers to better understand the situation and collect information on people’s needs. According to multiple sources, many people in affected locations and other areas where precipitation had been forecasted need support with evacuation. Those who have been evacuated or otherwise affected by floods require assistance in food, emergency shelter, health care and medical supplies, according to initial reports. Local volunteers have managed to evacuate the affected people and have provided initial assistance in terms of food and WASH as well as some COVID-19 awareness raising activities. The response, however, is likely to be impacted by access limitations, including those related to the current COVID-19 prevention measures. (OCHA, 30 Jul 2021)

As of mid-August, an estimated 125,000 people have been affected by flooding, mainly in Kachin, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine and eastern areas of Shan states as well as in Mandalay and Tanintharyi regions, according to local partners. [...] In Kachin State, flash floods and a landslide on 12 August reportedly destroyed at least 15 shelters in Maga Yang camp in Waingmaw Township, which hosts about 1,600 internally displaced people (IDP); one civilian was reportedly killed during the floods. Similarly, several townships in eastern areas of Shan State experienced flash floods and landslides between 11 and 18 August. A local community, three temporary displacement sites and a relocation site in Muse Township, which hosts around 350 displaced families have been affected. Similar incidents took place in Mogoke Township of Mandalay Region in the second week of August, with floods and landslides reportedly killing four persons, including a child, and washing away a number of houses. In Rakhine State, at least 10 villages in Toungup Township have been flooded due to heavy rains on 6 August, affecting some 1,300 houses, a hospital and paddy fields, according to local partners.

Heavy rains and floods have further aggravated an already extremely challenging situation in the south-eastern parts of the country. In Kayin State, at least five townships have been affected. Another nine townships were affected by floods in Mon State, while in Tanintharyi Region, at least three townships have been affected.

Local humanitarian actors, volunteers and communities responded to the needs of affected families, including with organizing temporary shelter for those who had to be evacuated to safer areas. The floods have also damaged crops, and according to initial assessments, at least 2,000 acres of paddy fields in Kyainseikgyi Township in Kayin State have been impacted, with farmers facing difficulties with seeds and expenses to cover replanting of the paddy. An additional 40,000 cultivated land has been affected across different states and regions, according to partners. (OCHA, 27 Aug 2021)

The monsoon weather system is strong and active, and on 24 August, Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) forecast predicted water levels may exceed the danger level of major rivers and river dams such as Ayeyarwady River and Sittoung River that are currently in critical situation and could have the ability to impact the most at-risk areas. As of 25 August, the Thanlwin River has exceeded the danger zone (see in Annex forecast). There are concerns that the weather system, fluvial floods, and flash floods could cause damage in communities across several regions, particularly in Shan (East), Kayin, Mon, Rakhine, Tanintharyi, Magway, Mandalay, Kachin, Sagaing and Chin regions. Some of these areas have experienced previous devastation by the flood in 2015 and 2017. It is estimated more than 1.6 million vulnerable people are likely to be impacted by sessional monsoon related disasters. DMH forecasts that the monsoon season will continue until October with medium to heavy rainfall and it is likely that Myanmar will experience new floods, in addition to probable increased severity impacts. (IFRC, 1 Sep 2021)