Heavy rains and overflowing creeks caused flooding in over 16,000 acres of Thaton District farmland, according to the state Agriculture Department. The flooding, which began on July 20, affected 9,008 acres in Kyaikto Township and 7,997 acres in Bilin Township. Floodwaters had receded from almost 3,000 acres as of July 23.
“We don’t yet know of any damage in the affected areas and we won’t have an idea until the water recedes. We haven’t yet heard from Kyaikto Township how much water has receded there—just that the highway is now clear but fields are still flooded,” said U Aung Zaw Naing of the Agriculture Department.The department is preparing to distribute seed to farmers whose crops were destroyed, but can only begin once floodwaters have receded and damage can be assessed, he added. Department staff are also training farmers to deal with pests that can emerge after floods.
“If some of the paddy leaves remain above the water level the plant can survive for up to a week, but if the plants are totally submerged they can only survive for four or five days,” U Aung Zaw Naing said.
On July 25, U Tin Soe, the headman of Kyaikto’s Kaw Sa Naing Quarter said, “Today the water has completely receded so people who were displaced are beginning to come back, though there is still some water in fields.”
3,916 Kyaikto residents were forced to move into six temporary flood relief camps, and 91 others went to a camp for people displaced by landslides. In Bilin 619 took refuge in five camps and Thaton Township hosted 329 people in two camps, according to records collected by the Mon State Department of Relief and Resettlement.
Last year, over 4,000 acres of Thaton District farmland were flooded, but water receded quickly and caused little damage, according to the Agriculture Department.
On July 21 and 22, parts of Mon State and Shan State saw record rainfall. Another 20 towns across the country have already received record amounts of rain in July, according to the Union Ministry of Meteorology and Hydrology. Flooding in Bago Region has affected over 60,000 acres of paddy.