Heavy monsoon rains have lashed Myanmar-also known as Burma – causing huge damage to major parts of the country. The United Nations has warned that the death toll is expected to rise in the forthcoming days.
Four Western regions have been declared disaster zones after heavy floods, caused by monsoon rains, left at least 27 people dead. On Sunday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said some 156,000 people were affected by the floods in 12 districts, but the total could be “significantly higher”.
Rescue teams are delayed in many areas by heavy rains and landslides. The victims in thousands take shelter in Buddhist monasteries, but one report said people from the Rohingya Muslim minority were turned away from abandoned schools and community centres in Rakhine by the security forces.
More than half a million acres of rice paddy fields have been flooded, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation said.
The weather reports predict heavy rains over the next two days in many states including Chin, Rakhine and Magwe.