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UN warns of more fatalities in Myanmar flooding

2 August 2015 14:27



The United Nations has warned that the death toll from flash floods and landslides in Myanmar, which were triggered by torrential rains, is expected to rise.

In a statement released on Sunday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the official death toll from the flooding across the Southeast Asian country, which currently stands at 27, is likely an underestimate.

“As further information becomes available, this figure is also expected to increase,” the statement read.

The OCHA also noted that it had been informed by Myanmar’s Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement that at least 156,000 people have been affected by the recent flooding over the past few days.

The UN body warned that the number of the flood-affected citizens will be “significantly higher” as many areas “have still not been reached or reported on by assessment teams.”

Meanwhile, a Myanmarese government official told AFP on condition of anonymity on Saturday that all but one of the country’s 14 provinces and regions were affected by the flooding.

The Naypyidaw administration has declared four worst-hit areas as “national disaster-affected regions.”

Continued downpours and the inaccessibility of some flood-affected regions have reportedly hampered rescue operations across Myanmar.

Resident paddle through floodwaters in Kalay, Sagaing Region, Upper Myanmar, August 1, 2015. ©AFP

Flooding is common during Myanmar’s annual monsoon season, which is usually between late May and mid-October.

The rain is regarded as a lifeline for farmers; however, heavy rain can also prove to be deadly in many instances, with landslides and flash floods taking the lives of people and livestock.

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