A dyke in Paung Township’s Ahlet Village failed on May 27, sending water rushing in and destroying five houses, according to residents. Construction on the dyke had been completed just one month earlier, raising questions about why a 300-foot section failed so soon after it was built.
U Kyi Myint, a resident of the village, said “the waves were very big because of a storm and heavy rain. After the dyke collapsed the nearby house were eroded by water.”
Ahlet Village sits very close to the sea, and experiences tidal erosion every year. The Mon State Government’s Irrigation Department spent 4,560 lakhs ($333,800) to build the dyke starting in February and construction was completed in April, just a month before the dyke failed.
“The dyke is 1,200 feet long in total, and 300 feet were damaged in the storm. There is tidal erosion here every year, so locals don’t dare to stay so close to the water—only migrant workers are willing to live in the flooded area,” said U Thein Tin, the headman of Ahlet Village.
He added that officers from the Irrigation Department came to assess the damage on May 28, and told him that they would restore it. According to the Paung Fire Department, the dyke sustained about 1,000 lakhs of damage and the five houses suffered 3 lakhs of damage.
The Ministry of Agriculture and transportation said that beginning in rainy season this year, it would plant mangrove forests in the tidal areas near Ahlet Village to protect it from erosion.