YANGON, MYANMAR — Floods and landslides caused by monsoon rains have killed five people and forced the evacuation of around 40,000 others in Myanmar, officials said Friday.
Footage from Rakhine state, which was ravaged in May by Cyclone Mocha, showed large areas of villages and farmland submerged by murky yellow-brown waters.
Myanmar is hit by heavy rains every year around this time, but extreme weather events have struck around the globe in recent weeks, events scientists say are made worse by climate change.
Five people have been killed, Lay Shwe Zin Oo, director of Myanmar’s social welfare, relief and resettlement ministry told AFP.
Around 37,000 people have been evacuated already around Myanmar, she added, with the figure set to rise above 40,000 on Friday.
“Our department is giving necessary things for households evacuated to temporary camps,” she said.
Flooding began in late July and has affected nine of the country’s states and regions, including Rakhine, Kachin, Karen, Mon and Chin.
In Karen state, a landslide has cut off an important highway linking a town on the border with Thailand, and the junta has said it could take a month to build a temporary bridge.
Myanmar is in the grip of a bloody civil conflict between the junta, which seized power in a February 2021 coup, and civilian militias opposed to its rule.
According to a local monitoring group, more than 3,800 people have been killed since the coup, a figure the junta puts at 5,000.
The United Nations sharply criticised the junta for its handling of the aftermath of Cyclone Mocha, which killed at least 148 people and destroyed many homes.
The UN condemned the junta’s refusal to allow aid workers to access the region, prompting state media to accuse the world body of “arrogance, ignorance and self-interest”.