Nearly 120,000 displaced in Myanmar floods

Floodwaters have forced thousands from their homes in southeast Myanmar, local police said on July 27, as authorities and volunteers scrambled to provide food and aid to the victims. (Saw Kyaw San Oo/AFP)
Updated 31 July 2018

Nearly 120,000 displaced in Myanmar floods

  • Rescuers in boats tried to pluck people from floodwaters in Hpa-an in Karen state while other residents tried to escape by any means possible
  • Evacuation orders are still in place for many flood-stricken areas with a number of rivers exceeding danger levels

YANGON: Nearly 120,000 people have been displaced after floods submerged a vast swathe of southeastern Myanmar, killing 11 people and sending panicked residents fleeing for dry ground with children perched on their shoulders and few belongings in tow.
An official told AFP Tuesday over 118,000 people have taken refuge in 285 camps so far, as the toll climbed to 11 dead — including three solders — with more deaths feared.
Swirling, muddy waters reached thatched-roofed homes and wiped out farmland in four provinces as officials scrambled to set up rescue centers amid continued torrential rains on Tuesday.
Rescuers in boats tried to pluck people from floodwaters in Hpa-an in Karen state while other residents tried to escape by any means possible, balancing on makeshift rafts or wading out carrying children and plastic bags of goods.
“There could be a few more casualties but we are still collecting the information,” Social Welfare Ministry Director Phyu Lei Lei Tun said.
“Water is going down in some places. But we do not know how long the disaster will last.”
Meanwhile five others were confirmed killed in a landslide triggered by heavy rains in Kawthaung township in Myanmar’s southern tip.
Evacuation orders are still in place for many flood-stricken areas with a number of rivers exceeding danger levels by several feet and 36 dams and reservoirs overflowing, state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported.
The Mekong region has been battered by particularly heavy monsoon rains this year, causing devastating floods that have forced thousands to flee and wiped out homes and farmland.
Heavy rains caused a massive dam in southern Laos to collapse last week, wiping out entire villages and killing at least 11 — though earlier official tolls initially put the number as high as 27.
Floodwaters from that catastrophe seeped into Cambodia and forced thousands from their homes.
Rescuers are still searching for survivors in southern Laos more than a week after the dam collapse, with Thai, South Korean and Chinese specialists joining efforts to find scores still missing.


Spain set for money laundering trial against uncle of Syria’s Assad

Updated 22 November 2019

Spain set for money laundering trial against uncle of Syria’s Assad

  • Rifaat Assad turned against the government in 1984 after a power struggle over who would succeed his older brother, Hafez
  • Rifaat Assad is also facing trial in France for allegedly acquiring millions of euros worth of French property assets

MADRID: Spain is heading toward a money laundering trial against an uncle of Syrian president Bashar Assad, the High Court said on Friday, after an investigating judge finished his probe.
The prosecuting office has ten days to comment on the judge’s recommendation that the case goes ahead, which is considered a formality, after which a trial start date will be set, the court said.
Two years ago, the High Court confiscated over €600 million ($663.24 million) of assets thought to be linked to Rifaat Assad.
He is a former military commander, widely held responsible for crushing an uprising in 1982 against then-president Hafez Assad, Bashar’s father. Many thousands were killed.
Rifaat Assad turned against the government in 1984 after a power struggle over who would succeed his older brother, Hafez. He now lives in exile between France and Britain.
He is also facing trial in France for allegedly acquiring millions of euros worth of French property assets.