Heavy rains trigger deadly flooding and landslides in Mogok

At least four people have died in the ruby-mining town of Mogok since Thursday as a result of flooding and landslides caused by days of heavy rain. 

Casualties were reported in both the eastern and western parts of the town, while rural areas of the township in Mandalay Region have also been severely affected, according to local sources.

Houses located near a stream in the eastern part of Mogok were so badly flooded that a number of them collapsed or were washed away, rescue workers told Myanmar Now.

“We managed to save six of the seven people who were in one house that came down. Unfortunately, one lady died,” said Hein Htet Maung of the Myanmar Social Welfare Organization (Mogok).

“The rain has been very heavy. The whole town is flooded, and there have also been landslides in rural areas,” he added.

Heavy flooding in Mogok caused a number of houses in the eastern part of the town to be washed away

On Thursday, the collapse of a stone wall in Kyat Pin, in the western part of the town, killed two women and a 5-year-old child, other sources reported.

Residents of Mogok said that the rain, which has been falling almost continuously since early July, grew much heavier over the past two days.

According to local news reports, nearly 15cm of rain fell on Thursday morning alone, setting a new record for the town.

Under normal circumstances, more would have been done to mitigate the impact of the rain, according to some residents.

“In the past, we used backhoes to redirect the water flows,” said Mogok resident Ko Lay, who suggested that the failure to take similar action this year might have been due to the lack of political stability in the country since the coup in February.

Landslides are a common occurrence in Mogok, but the problem has gotten worse in recent years, according to locals and social welfare organizations in the area.

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