A dam collapsed in Myanmar's central Bago region Wednesday following heavy monsoon rains, displacing tens of thousands and killing at least four, as AFP reported that ministry officials confirmed Friday.
"According to the information we got as of this morning, four people were killed and three went missing during the floods," Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement director Phyu Lei Lei Tun said, according to AFP.
The breach occurred in the Swar Chaung dam's spillway at 4 a.m. Wednesday and flooded Swar, Yadeshe and neighboring villages, CNN reported.
Flooding affected at least 85 villages and displaced more than 63,000 people, Reuters reported.
The breach also damaged a bridge on the highway linking the major cities of Yangon and Mandalay and the capital, Naypyitaw, disrupting traffic.
Residents had expressed concerns about the level of water in the dam's reservoir, but officials assured them it was safe just days before the collapse.
Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation official Kaung Myat Thein said that there was no way to predict a spillway collapse, according to Reuters.
"We could not know one day before, one hour before," he said.
Kaung Myat Thein said that the ministry was working to get as much water into the reservoir as possible before the dry season began and would investigate the cause of the breach.
But as the ministry works to recover water for irrigation, some farmers say their fields are flooded beyond easy repair.
Zaw Zaw, a 45-year-old farmer in the village of Oo Yin Hmu, told Reuters it would be years before rice could be planted in the inundated paddy fields of his village.
"All of my farmland is turned into mud now. I don't have land or anything else anymore. I don't know what to do," fellow villager Pan Ei Phyu told Reuters.
Kyaw Kyaw, who represents the affected town of Yadeshe in Bago Division's regional parliament, said that some people were beginning to return home and that the local government was focusing on rehabilitation, CNN reported.
Others were still stranded in flood waters and the military attempted to rescue them Friday, AFP reported.
Phyu Lei Lei Tun said that more than 36,000 people were living in 68 temporary, elevated shelters, according to AFP.
More Than 100,000 Displaced in Deadly #Myanmar #Monsoon Floods https://t.co/fUOCb8v0RW @globalactplan @climateprogress #ClimateChange— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1533085215.0
By Hannah Murphy
When he talks about the Trump administration, David Doniger likes to say: "Imagine where we'd be if they knew what they were doing." The climate lawyer and senior advisor to the NRDC Action Fund spends his days defending the environment from the U.S. government, and for the past three and a half years, that's meant a front-row seat to the Trump administration's relentless attacks on any regulation that's meant to slow the climate crisis.
- Trump's Climate Change Record Threatens the Planet - EcoWatch ›
- Climate Change Purged From White House Website - EcoWatch ›
- America Burns From Climate Change While Trump Officials Attend ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Johns Hopkins University tracker for worldwide coronavirus cases showed that the world passed a grim milestone early Tuesday morning, as more than 1 million have died from the virus and the infection it causes, COVID-19.
- US Coronavirus Deaths Pass 200000 as New Surge in Cases Begins ›
- U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 170,000 Ahead of Flu Season ... ›
- U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Now No. 1 in World - EcoWatch ›
Maryland will become the first state in the nation Thursday to implement a ban on foam takeout containers.
- New Jersey Legislature Passes 'Most Comprehensive' Plastics Ban ... ›
- Canada to Announce Ban on Single-Use Plastics - EcoWatch ›
- The Complex and Frustrating Reality of Recycling Plastic - EcoWatch ›
- Dunkin' Says Bye to Foam Cups (But Bring Your Own Thermos ... ›
- Maine and Vermont Pass Plastic Bag Bans on the Same Day ... ›
By Ajit Niranjan
Leaders from across the world have promised to turn environmental degradation around and put nature on the path to recovery within a decade.
- Destruction of Nature Is Triggering Pandemics, Say Leaders of WWF ... ›
- The UN Wants to Protect 30% of the Planet by 2030 - EcoWatch ›
- New WWF Report Calls for Protecting Nature to Prevent Future ... ›
Just days after a new report detailed the "unequivocal and pervasive role" climate change plays in the increased frequency and intensity of wildfires, new fires burned 10,000 acres on Sunday as a "dome" of hot, dry air over Northern California created ideal fire conditions over the weekend.
- California's Iconic Redwoods Threatened by Wildfires - EcoWatch ›
- California Wildfires Destroy Condor Sanctuary, at Least 4 Birds Still ... ›
- 7 Devastating Photos of Wildfires in California, Oregon and ... ›