Roughly 200 Letpadaung households stranded by the roadside as Chindwin bursts

Local people wade through the flood in the field in Salingyi. Photo: Myitmakha News Agency
Local people wade through the flood in the field in Salingyi. Photo: Myitmakha News Agency

AROUND 200 households in the vicinity of Letpadaung Mountain, situated in Sagaing Region’s Salingyi Township, was evacuated on Monday to the verge on the Salingyi – Nyaungpingyi roadside as their houses were flooded after the Chindwin River burst its banks.
The Salingyi — Nyaungpingyi road is 18 feet wide and only accommodates a one way flow of traffic. The villagers have erected their shelters on a patch of land beside the road which measures four feet higher than their flooded village.
“Those from our village are having to relocate as water is flooding into our homes. Come the afternoon and we’ll have to move to the side of the road too. In the past, it used to take between a week to ten days after the Chindwin had burst its banks for the water to start entering into our village. But, the blocking up of the waterway towards the Letpadaung Mountain by the Chinese Winbao Company has seen the waters of the Chindwin flood our village as soon as the river has overflown.” said U Myint Htay, a resident of Tonetawkyaung village.
The waters of the Chindwin surpassed the dangerous 1,000cm level on Sunday, with water levels slowly creeping up ever since, reaching 1,016 on Tuesday, according to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.
“The water has risen by about three feet. Families have left a person or two behind [to guard the remainder of their household processions] while the rest relocate to dryer ground with their livestock and household animals. For the time being, we still haven’t received any assistance from any government departments concerned.
There aren’t yet any issues with drinking water and people are cooking and eating as they need to.” said U Win Myint Oo, administrator of Letpadaung village tract.
Residents of Shwehla village have been relocating to the side of the Salingyi – Nyaungpingyi road over the last four days, taking with them their livestock of cattle, horses, sheep and swine. The numbers of displaced households beside the road is reportedly in the region of 200 while the local middle school has also been temporarily closed.
It is reported that water from the Chindwin is also beginning to flood into the Letpadaung Mountain region villages of Tonetawkyaung, Alaytaw, Ywarthit and Alayywar.
But the verge along the roadside will prove familiar for most as flooding of the Chindwin last year saw families from the region forced to seek refuge beside the road for nearly three weeks.— Myitmakha News Agency

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