Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Amarapura villages hit by rising waters

AYEYARWADY River’s rising water level has triggered panic among villagers in Amarapura township, in Mandalay, forcing residents to live in temporary shelter along the roads, fearing their houses could be inundated by the gushing water.

The Ayeyarwady River inundates Chauk Thway Taut village in Amarapura township on July 14. Phyo Wai Kyaw/ The Myanmar TimesThe Ayeyarwady River inundates Chauk Thway Taut village in Amarapura township on July 14. Phyo Wai Kyaw/ The Myanmar Times

Due to the rising water level, Ayeyarwaddy River water has started flowing into villages in Amarapura township of Mandalay and people affected are forced to live in temporary shelters on the roadsides, said U Than Aung,

Among the 24 villages in Amarapura township, water has entered into villages of Pattamya, Ywar Thit, Moe Kaung, Chauk Thway Taut, Shwe Lay Kwet 1, 2, and 3, as of now, and about 600 families were affected by the flood, said U Than Aung, an elder from Shwe Kyet Yet village of Amarapura township.

“An estimate 300-400 families have set up temporary huts beside the Sagaing-Mandalay and Kan Pat roads. But, some of them are still staying in their homes. The water wells and pumps are now submerged, so when the water recedes there is going to be some difficulties in obtaining drinking water. Right now, the river water has receded a little,” U Than Aung said.

The danger mark of the Ayeyarwady in Mandalay is 1260 centimetres. On July 28, 2016, the river’s water level rose to 1248 cm and reached 1325 cm on August 1, more than 61 cm above its danger level.

Water gushed into Taung Tha Man Lake, the access to U Bein Bridge had to be temporarily closed, and Yadanapon University was closed too.

To avert flooding, the Mandalay City Development Committee closed dams and monitored the river in east Mandalay. The water also reached 16 villages in Amarapura. This year, the river’s water level is at 1164cm as of July 11.

“The river water started flowing into our villages two or three days ago. Majority of the families have set up temporary huts along Sagaing-Mandalay road, and have started living there. But, we’re not going there.

“We’re staying in our homes by stacking up the beds. For drinking water, we get it by boat from the monastery beside the road. As our village is situated in a low-lying area, as soon as the water enter it takes about two months for it to recede,” said Shwe Lay Kwet 1 local U Kyaw Maung.

– Translation by Kyaw Soe Htet