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Crisis Response Journal Crisis Response Journal

India and Myanmar monsoon rains leave dozens dead

Posted on 1st August 2015 at 19:41pm

At least 20 people have been killed in a landslide as monsoon rains continue to batter parts of South-East Asia.  The landslip in the eastern Indian state of Manipur buried a whole village, Indian media reported.  In neighbouring Myanmar, four western regions have been declared disaster zones after heavy floods left at least 27 people dead.

Incessant rain over several weeks has led to flooding and landslides in most of the country (also known as Burma).  Wind and rain from Cyclone Komen added to damage in recent days.

Elsewhere:

Floods in Vietnam left at least 17 people dead

And in western Nepal, some 30 people were killed after torrential rain triggered landslides.

The landslide in Manipur state hit a remote village in Chandel district, bordering Myanmar, early on Saturday.  Rescue teams were not expected to get there until Sunday because of heavy rains and landslides, a local MP said.  Continuous rain in recent days has washed away bridges and roads and left thousands homeless, Indian NDTV reported.  In Myanmar, Mg Mg Khin, the director of disaster management with the national Red Cross, told the BBC the country was facing "a big disaster" and that there was a risk of more rain over the coming weeks.

The Red Cross was waiting for information on the extent of damage to refugee camps in Rakhine, he added.  Rakhine, along with Chin, Magwe and Sagaing, has been declared a disaster zone.

The UN said 140,000 people in Rakhine are living in camps near the region's capital, Sittwe. Most are Rohingya Muslims.  Thousands of people are sheltering in monasteries, but one report said people from the Rohingya Muslim minority were turned away from some shelters.  The Myanmar Times said security forces turned away Rohingya Muslims from abandoned schools and community centres in the western Rakhine state.

More than half a million acres of rice paddy fields have been flooded, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation said.  On Saturday, the UN said it was to send emergency teams to assess the need for food, drinking water and shelter.

"This is much, much worse than normal," Toe Zaw Latt, the Myanmar bureau chief for the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) network, told the BBC from Yangon.

On Friday, Ko Myo Zaw Lin, a journalist with DVB, was filmed carrying out a live interview in flood waters up to his chest in the southern city of Bago.

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