Monsoons have struck Myanmar/Burma, pouring relentless rain and causing massive flooding all across the country. Reports indicate that approximately 120,000 people have been displaced, driven from their homes in hopes of seeking shelter elsewhere; so far 11 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the flooding.
I spoke to several aid workers in the area. One sent me this video, and said: “Usually this is a cliff and the river is 20 feet below the bridge.” This bridge has been used by locals for years, often to carry supplies, patients or other necessary means for years. It has been a chance to cut across a large river without having to go the long way around, finding short (very out of the way) crossing points with significantly more dangerous, rickety bridges that are undoubtedly long gone by now.
Bryce Dryden, a former Ranger medic working in the area, said that, “48 villages in this district have flooded … it’s not so bad here. The market is ankle deep in some places. One of the guys here went to check on his family and found that they had abandoned the ground floor of their home and had brought their animals into the higher level with them.” He added that the man was Karen, and he did not seem too concerned about his family. The Karen are a resourceful group of people, and they often live through heavy monsoons with little in the way of infrastructure to help them out — while these monsoons may be worse than normal, many Karen are less concerned when compared to some of those who live around and depend upon heavy amounts of infrastructure.
On a less dire note, he also said that it’s “Humidity like I’ve never experienced. It’s so wet here during the rainy season that my phone is constantly warning me there’s water in the USB port. I’ve begun charging in a bowl of rice.”
Another sent me these pictures: