This aerial view shows the flooding in Shwegyin township, Bago Ragion on Thursday. Sai Aung Main/AFP
Raging floods across Myanmar have forced tens of thousands of people from their homes in recent weeks, officials said on Thursday, as monsoon rains pummel the nation.
Aerial images from Shwegyin township in Bago region showed how the area had become a vast lake of water.
Only the rooftops could be seen of many homes lining the Sittaung river.
Emergency services have been helping bring people to dry ground, many seeking shelter in local monasteries.
Others waded through waist-deep floodwaters or rowed on wooden boats with pets and any belongings they could take with them.
Than Aye, 42, who has diabetes and is partially-sighted, struggled to escape the deluge.
"I could not do anything when the flooding started but then the fire service came to rescue me by boat," he told AFP from the safety of the monastery that has been his home for the last five days.
The most severe flooding is currently in eastern Bago region and Mon and Karen states, according to the social welfare ministry."There are currently over 30,000 people (across the country) displaced by floods," said director general of disaster management Ko Ko Naing.
UN's Office for Coordinated Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates around 89,000 people have been displaced in recent weeks, although many have since been able to return home.
It is really sad news that many people were killed during the monsoon rains in eastern Myanmar (“Myanmar landslide kills 34, scores missing,” Aug.10, Gulf Today).
The southern state of Kerala, a tourist haven known for its beaches, hill resorts and backwaters, has been the worst hit region for the second consecutive year, forcing the closure of the Kochi international airport for three days last week.
The storm-surge watches warn residents of possible flooding from rising waters and coastal inundations in the city, known worldwide for its Mardi Gras and jazz.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it would expel two German diplomats from Moscow in a tit-for-tat response after Berlin last week ordered the expulsion of two Russian diplomats.
China and the United States are in close communication on trade, its commerce ministry said on Thursday, declining to comment on possible retaliatory steps if Washington imposes more tariffs on Chinese goods this weekend.
More than 4,000 polling venues across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, including a windmill, several pubs, a hair salon and a chip shop, opened their doors for a day of voting that ends at 2200 GMT.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government has said the so-called Citizenship Amendment Bill that was approved by parliament on Wednesday was meant to protect besieged minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.