Southeast Asia flooding hits cyclone-weary Myanmar

Saturday, August 16th 2008, 7:41 am
By: News 9

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Severe flooding triggered by torrential rains has struck areas of Myanmar still recovering from a cyclone that killed more than 84,000 people, a state-run newspaper said Saturday.

Flooding has also hit parts of Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. In Laos, at least four people died from their injuries in landslides triggered by flooding after levels in the Mekong River reached record highs.

In Myanmar, the floods hit areas of Yangon and the Irrawaddy delta, where Cyclone Nargis left a swath of devastation early May, as well as other regions of the country, the Myanma Ahlin newspaper said. No casualties were reported.

Residents fled from their homes, schools were closed and rice fields submerged in regions ranging from Karen and Mon states in the southeast to Mandalay in central Myanmar.

The water quickly receded and damage to rice fields was not reported, the newspaper said.

In Laos, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yong Chanthalansy said Friday that four people died outside the capital, Vientiane, after being injured in landslides triggered by the flooding. The state news agency KPL said one of the dead was a child.

Speaking by telephone from Vientiane, Yong said that there were reports that the flooding was receding Friday after water levels in the Mekong had reached 44.8 feet, beating the previous record high of 40.61 feet in 1966.

The flooding also cut electricity in some parts of the old royal capital of Luang Prabang, a popular tourist destination, the Web site reported. It added that the main road between Vientiane and Luang Prabang had been cut off by a landslide.

Thailand's national news agency said areas of three northeastern provinces bordering the Mekong River and Laos were badly affected, with flooding causing damage to dikes and thousands of acres of farmland.

In Nong Khai province, more than 1,000 houses were flooded, with some villagers evacuating. Two hospitals were hit and patients and medical supplies were moved to higher ground, the Thai News Agency said.

Some 128,000 people in Nakhon Phanom province were also affected, the agency said.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)