Lashio Hit by Worst Floods in Half a Century
LASHIO, Shan State — At least one person is dead and two others are missing after flash floods hit low-lying areas of northern Shan State’s largest city, leaving hundreds homeless.
The flooding, the worst seen in the area in 54 years, has brought transportation in Lashio to a standstill. On the main highway to the city from Muse, on the Sino-Burmese border, vehicles sit half-submerged, abandoned by their owners.
“I just left it there after the water started to rise too high,” said the owner of one car. He said he had set out at around 8 am on Aug. 19, the first day of the flooding, but soon found himself inundated.
“I have driven on this road for many years, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” he added.
Three days after the deluge began, the worst has passed. However, many residents of the most affected parts of town remain in temporary shelters, wondering when they will be able to return to their homes.
Witnesses said that one victim of the flooding, 30-year-old Maung Aye, was swept away while trying to recover a gas tank that had been caught in the flow.
“We have to be very careful, because the water is very strong when it comes down from the mountains,” said Thein Htwe Oo, the leader of Lashio’s First Quarter, one of four sections of the city that bore the brunt of the flooding.
In some areas, whole houses were washed away, taking with them personal possessions and even residents who could not flee in time.
Zar Ni Kyaw, another resident of the First Quarter, said her paralyzed father barely escaped with his life. “I was at another house at the time and didn’t hear him calling to me for help. Luckily, some young people in the neighborhood were able to get him out in time,” she said.
Another resident said she ran to the top floor of a high building when she saw the water coming down from the mountain.
“I saw many other houses under water, and could hear people shouting for help. But the water was too strong, so there was nothing anybody could do,” she said.
The local authorities have set up four camps for the 200 people who have been forced out of their homes. Some of the evacuees will not have homes to return to.
Burma’s rainy season has been exceptionally wet this year, with severe flooding reported in many parts of the country, including the Irrawaddy Delta and Karen and Mon states, where thousands have lost their homes.
Heavy flooding hits many areas in Burma
17.08.12. Monsoon rains continue to damage crops and disrupt lives in Burmese townships and villages, with heavy rains in central and eastern Burma destroying thousands of acres of rice.
Farmers hit hard by the heavy rains told Karen News that a total of 9,500 acres of farms in Kawkareik and Kyain Seikgyi townships were destroy by the latest flooding.
“All of our paddy fields are completely swamped,” said one farmer in the affected area. “The water level is still high and has not dropped yet.”
Since July 22, the rains and the flooding have prevented many farmers from working their fields.
“Paddy [rice] can only survive for about 10 days under water and will be destroyed if swamped – our paddy is damaged beyond saving even if the floodwaters drop now,” the farmer said.
Monsoon season in Burma normally runs from late April to early October. Floods and landslides are common at this time and the severe weather conditions include cyclones.
Earlier this month the Karen State Chief Minister, Zaw Min, said that as many as 6,000 people have been left homeless after severe flooding in Hpa-an Township.
Residents said the flood warning levels in the Salween River have been rising since July and had started to flood and swamp nearby houses.
Other areas in Karen State affected by flooding include Hlaingbwe, Kama Maung, Shwe Gone and Kyain Seikgyi townships, according to Karen News.
In recent weeks, flooding has occurred in the Irrawaddy, Pegu, Tenasserim and Rangoon areas and in Karen, Mon and Arakan states.
3 dead as torrential rains cause flood within Nowshera
Three individuals have been reported dead as a result of flood within the Nowshera area on Wednesday. According to reports, heavy rains inundated sewers which led to the death of the three individuals as a result of drowning. Heavy rains were reported to have struck the region since 5 am on Wednesday. The dripping continued for around 5 hours with great intensity causing severe damage to several houses and other structures within the area.
Heavy rains create havoc in Jaipur
Heavy rains in Rajasthan capital Jaipur has thrown normal life out of gear.
At least five people were killed and several others injured as heavy rains lashed pink City of Jaipur.
According to the Met department, around 160 mm rain has been recorded in the city.
Due to heavy and continuous rains for the last 24 hrs, the entire city has been inundated, leaving normal life out of gear. Due to flood like situation, Jaipur-Agra Highway has been closed. The government has also ordered closure of all government and private schools in the state.
Road and Rail traffic have also been severely affected due to heavy rain. Several trains are reported running behind the schedule or cancelled.
Phuket floods damage roads, pull down power poles
PHUKET: The heavy rains last night and the ensuing floodwater this morning have damaged several roads across Phuket, including the critical route from Patong to Phuket Town.
A section of road that suffered a lethal sinkhole in 2009, about 150 meters from Sea Pearl Villas on Phra Baramee Road, last night washed away completely, forcing Patong council workers to shut down the lane.
One Patong Municipality worker told the Gazette, “We are now filling the section with rocks and smaller landfill. This will take a couple of days.
“We have already contacted the Phuket Highways Office to request that they repave the damaged section of road, but we are not sure when they will be able to do it,” he added.
When the section of road that washed away last night first collapsed in 2009, the mayor of Patong himself, Pian Keesin, happened to be heading down the hill towards Patong at about 5pm – just as the surface of the road was beginning to fall away, creating the giant hole.
A project costing 5 million baht was soon launched to make “permanent” repairs, namely by replacing the existing 80-centimeter tubular concrete drainpipes with larger pipes constructed from 1.5-meter square sections.
News of the road collapse also comes after officials in May voiced their concern that a different section of the same road, further up the toward the Chinese shrine, would wash away. The shoulder of the road that eroded during heavy rains last year, which would send motorists plummeting down a steep slope, has yet to receive a “permanent” fix.
Meanwhile, the road behind the Loch Palm Golf Course in Kathu also suffered damage last night, with three roadside power poles being brought down by the wet earth and moving water.
The damaged section of road, about one kilometer from the golf course, had nearly an entire lane washed away.
Power was to be restored to homes along the road this afternoon.
However, telephone cables, that were strung up to the same utility poles, were also brought down by the deluges.
“We’re still waiting for the officers [from the relevant authority] to come and fix them. We’re not sure when telephone services will be restored to the area,” one of the workers told the Gazette.
Worst flooding I ever seen
Patong hospital area is always flooded but today there was water everywhere. I took Banzaan route, heavily flooded, Nanai same, even Patong Hill had deep water at the middle low point. After the hill before buggy track tons of water again, drove on the opposite lane side to get past that. At intersection turned left towards Loch palm and tons of water again. My car died just before seven eleven. Argh. If I had mate 30 m more I would be safe. Called Ead and she went to police station for assistance. 30 mins later and water much lower, two Thai guys offered help to move car to the side. Now I was able to start, so I could get home. Very happy about that. Still crazy that so many roads and spots were flooded that are usually OK.
Floods hit Malaysia's Klang Valley
Torrential rains caused massive flooding in various parts of the Klang Valley of Malaysia just as city folks were celebrating the third day of Hari Raya (the Islamic festival marking the end of fasting month of Ramadan).
The 30-minute downpour caused flooding in five villages in Segambut with water levels rising to over 3 metres, affecting over 250 households.
Sri Hartamas Fire and Rescue Department chief Rodzlan Othman said some villagers in the more remote areas were also cut off after the waters rose rapidly.
“We also have reports of a house that was swept away by strong currents from a nearby river. But to our knowledge, there has been no casualty or injury at this time,” he said, adding that 50 firemen were deployed to the flood-hit areas.
The affected villages were Kampung Segambut Dalam, Kampung Segambut Bahagia, Kampung Segam?but Bahagia Tambahan, Kampung Pasir and Ladang Segambut.
Flash floods were also reported in Jalan Ipoh in Sentul and Klang.
The inundation was so severe that it damaged many of the high brick walls and steps built by the residents in Segambut to ward off flood waters.
Initial investigation, said Rodzlan, showed the flood could have been due to a poor drainage system, clogged by debris from nearby roadworks.
Resident Saleha Sulaiman, 60, said muddy waters began rising at around 3:00pm following the downpour, forcing her and her family to scramble to save their furniture and electrical items at their home.
“No more Raya for us. Thank goodness my grandchildren were with me,” she said.
Another villager Balan Navalingan, 61, saw flood waters gushing in from the south side of his house in Kampung Segambut Dalam from a nearby roadworks construction site.
“My family tried to save as much as we could but we were too late,” he said.
The floods, however, did not dampen the celebratory mood with many villagers seen helping each other to clean up the debris brought by the flood waters.
H.D. Shan, a resident from Kampung Kasipillay in Jalan Ipoh, said the water entered their homes some three hours after the rain began at 1:30pm. He blamed the flood on a bad drainage system.
A City Hall operations centre spokesman said it had sent officers to monitor the situation after receiving a call at about 4:30pm, adding, however, that none of the residents in Kampung Kasipillay was evacuated.
In Klang, the floods affected those living in Batu Belah, Sungai Pinang and Klang Utara.
According to a Batu Belah resident, who requested anonymity, water seeped into his convenience store and destroyed goods.
“It is just frustrating to see this sort of thing happening. I hope the Klang Municipal Council can do something,” he said.
Search Continues For Four Lost in SE Aceh Flooding
A search and rescue team on Tuesday resumed efforts to locate four people who remained missing after being swept away by flash floods in the Leuser subdistrict of Southeast Aceh district last weekend.
“We have resumed combing the river’s shores to look for four flood victims who are still missing,” said Juanda, the head of the Southeast Aceh SAR office, in a phone interview with Antara.
The flash flood hit the slopes of Leuser mountain in the subdistrict of the same name on Friday. Two bodies were recovered while the whereabouts of the other four missing people remains unknown.
Juanda said that the search party now includes personnel from the armed forces, the National Police and other government organizations.
About 70 homes were damaged and roads were blocked at various locations when mudslides moved into the village of Naga Arise Liang Pangi in Leuser subdistrict at about 3 a.m. on Sunday.
Access to a number of villages, which had been cut off by floods or mud, has since been restored with the help of members of the armed forces, who have assisted in the construction of emergency bridges and helped with ongoing cleanup operations, Juanda said.
Hundreds of people from three of the villages hit by floods — Sepakat, Naga Timbul and Yang Pangi — have returned to their homes after camping out at a football stadium in Kutacane.
“Most have returned to their villages to clean up and repair their homes,” Juanda said.
In addition to the massive tsunami that hit Aceh in 2004, the province has experienced several damaging floods in recent years.
In February, heavy rain in the Pidie district caused flash floods that isolated eight villages.
Thirty-seven homes were destroyed or swept away in that disaster, while 287 sustained minor to severe damage, according to the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
The provincial branch of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has blamed the severity of the flooding and landslides on illegal logging, which allows the topsoil in hilly areas to be washed away.
Walhi has been fighting to halt illegal logging.
T.M. Zulfikar, director of Walhi Aceh, said that if illegal logging is allowed to continue, “don’t be surprised to see even worse disasters unfold in the future.”