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Floods Cause Havoc Across Burma
By Khun Sam | October 12, 2006

Heavy rains have brought new flooding across Burma, inundating villages and farmland, killing an unknown number of people and making thousands homeless. Rivers have broken their banks, dams breached, roads, railway lines and bridges washed away.

Flood waters in Kyaukse, Mandalay Division, have submerged most of the town. Many homes are almost completely under water, a Kyaukse resident told The Irrawaddy by telephone. Staff and patients at Kyaukse hospital were forced to move to an upper floor. A nearby bridge was damaged by the flood waters.

Three dams in Mandalay Division - Zawgyi, Panlaung and Tsamoung - were breached and flooded nearby areas. "The situation is very bad," said a resident. "We've heard of deaths, especially in the villages."

According to the state-run media, at least 13 people have died in Mandalay Division, where Kyaukse, Myitthar, Myitnge and Patheingyi Townships have been particularly badly hit. The Dokehtawaddy River at Myitnge had risen to more than 10 meters, nearly 2 meters above its danger level, according to official reports. Train services in the region have been suspended.

Official reports say more than 3,000 homes and extensive areas of farmland have been inundated across Burma. Rangoon, Magwe, Sagaing and Shan State have been particularly hard hit.

Meanwhile the state-run media reported that a government-affiliated oil company ship had rescued a fishing boat which was in danger of being swept out to sea off the Arakan coast.

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