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Delta in danger — Army of volunteers fights rising rivers

Third batch of aid from India arrives in Kalay, Sagaing Regiom, which was severely hit by the flooding.
Third batch of aid from India arrives in Kalay, Sagaing Regiom, which was severely hit by the flooding.

Volunteers including military personnel and local residents fought back rising water Friday in the country’s Ayeyawady Delta, where swollen rivers have forced the evacuation of more than 19,000 people.
The rice bowl of Myanmar was at risk of flooding as the Ayeyawady and Ngawun rivers remained above their designated danger level in Hinthada, Zalun and Seiktha townships. About 180,000 volunteers have been working together on the front line of Hinthada, laying more than 50,000 sand bags on the banks of the rivers.
So far more than 5,400 people from vulnerable areas in Hinthada have moved to shelters, an official of the Hinthada Township General Administration Department said.
An official of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement said Friday that the nationwide death toll had reached 89, including 56 from Rakhine State.
Meanwhile, aid from private donors has been flowing into the Ayeyawady Delta including Nyaungdon, which is also threatened by flooding from the Ayeyawady River.
The Ministry of Relief and Resettlement has already provided K 72 million worth of aid to Rakhine State, where at least 55 people have died.
A relief mission of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and affiliated associations set off for Rakhine State on Friday aboard a naval vessel carrying K70 million worth of rice, edible oil and drinking water.
The Rakhine State Government will distribute the aid to the flood victims, according to UMFCCI.
The flooding, which began a few weeks ago, has inundated more than 1.2 million acres of rice fields, damaging more than 600,000 acres and destroying more than 367,000 acres, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.
The ministry has stockpiled more than 81,810 kilos of rice seeds and distributed more than 1,380 kilos of seeds to farmers in the flood-ravaged areas.

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