Dozens killed in Burma floods

Landslides and floods caused by torrential rain have killed 46 people in western Burma this week, state television reported on Wednesday.

The country is no stranger to harsh weather and at least 140 000 people were killed in 2008 when a cyclone hit the south of the country.

“Twenty-eight people were killed in Maungdaw Township while 18 were killed and four were injured in Buthidaung Township in the landslides caused by torrential rains on June 14,” MRTV television reported.

Earlier, local officials and an aid worker for an international non-governmental organisation, had told Reuters that heavy rain had washed away bridges and blocked roads in the area, killing at least 25 people.

The Meteorological Department said 34 cm of rain fell in the town of Maungdaw, on the border with Bangladesh, on one day this week.

Flooding had also hit the towns of Mrauk Oo and Kyauk Taw, about 550 km northwest of the city of Rangoon, washing away three bridges, although no casualties had been reported there, another official in the region said.

Deforestation had contributed to the problem, with rain pouring off bare slopes and eroding soil, which blocked waterways, he said. — Reuters

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