Myanmar: Cyclone Komen and monsoon rains cause flooding affecting hundreds of thousands
Malteser International provides flood relief in Rakhine State
In collaboration with a local partner, Malteser International is providing flood relief to an initial 300 families especially hard hit by severe flooding in its project area in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Thanks to support from the Swiss Embassy in the country we will provide around 1,500 inhabitants of the town of Sittwe with essential aid material. Among other things, this consists of clothes, cooking utensils, water filters, sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets and hygiene articles such as soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. The distribution of additional kits with clothing and hygiene articles in the town of Maungdaw is also planned.
“At the moment, the population in Myanmar is suffering from the effects of two catastrophes at the same time: namely the flooding caused by the unusually strong monsoon and the consequences of cyclone Komen,” reported Malteser International’s Country Coordinator in Myanmar, Johannes Kaltenbach. “Many villages in our project region in central and northern Rakhine have been under water for days. Many houses have been severely damaged or completely destroyed. In places, the water is up to 6ft deep.”
In recent days, almost 34,000 people in Rakine state needed to be rescued from the floods and brought to safety. Malteser International supported authorities in the evacuation of a hospital in Maungdaw.
Torrential monsoon rains in recent weeks, and storms triggered by cyclone Komen have caused countless landslides and flash floods in Myanmar, leading to the destruction of houses, fields, bridges and streets and the disruption of power and telephone lines. Officials have declared an emergency in four provinces in central and western regions of the country, however, all but one of Myanmar’s 14 provinces have been affected. Among the most heavily hit areas are the impoverished and outlying states of Chin and Rakhine. Further heavy rains are expected.
Millions of people in other Asian countries have also been affected by unusually strong monsoon rainfall, leading to flooding and landslides. In Pakistan, Malteser International is supporting health officials with their relief efforts in the severely affected district of Chitral in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province: providing medication, hygiene and baby kits, mosquito nets, water purification tablets, information and personnel. In Nepal, where Malteser International has been active providing relief since the earthquake, the heavy rains have considerably worsened the situation in a country where milllions of people who lost their homes in the earthquake continue to live in tents