Flooding, Landslides Attributed to Climate Change Leave 70 Dead in Mon State

The deaths occurred during a period of less than a week.


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Some 70 people have died and more than 1.2 billion kyat (more than US$790,000) worth of property has been destroyed in less than a week following heavy rainfall in Mon State, government representatives said.

The deaths and damage occurred from August 9-13, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

Houses, monasteries, walls, roads, crops, electricity generators and lampposts collapsed and were destroyed due to landslides and flooding.

Mon State chief minister Dr. Aye Zan attributed the crisis—caused by uncharacteristically heavy rains during a short time period—to climate change. He said that the state government would reconstruct the lost homes.

“The Mon State government will build new houses to replace the collapsed houses. We are looking for a venue for it,” the chief minister said.

Nearly all of the townships in Mon State have experienced flooding since the first week of August due to heavy rainfall. The hardest hit areas since August 9 have been Mawlamyine, Thanbyuzayat, Paung, Ye and Kyaikmayaw, with hundreds of thousands of people affected. More than 30,000 people have been relocated to evacuation camps.

Rescue teams and locals have reported that water levels are receding in most townships in Mon State except for Kyaikmayaw, where 30 villages remain submerged and 50,000 people are affected.