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Myanmar floods: UN says death toll 'to rise'

The death toll from floods in Myanmar is expected to rise over the coming days, the United Nations has warned.

Four western regions have been declared disaster zones after heavy floods, caused by monsoon rains, left at least 27 people dead.

But rescue teams have not yet reached many areas and are still awaiting reports on the worst-hit regions.

In the neighbouring eastern Indian state of Manipur, a landslide buried a village, killing at least 21 people.

Heavy rains are normal in monsoon season, but many people in Myanmar - also known as Burma - told the BBC that the rains were particularly strong in recent weeks.

Wind and rain from Cyclone Komen added to damage.

On Sunday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said some 156,000 people were affected by the floods in 12 districts but the total could be "significantly higher".

The UN also said:

-- there was "extensive damage" to camps housing 100,000 Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state
-- the city of Kalay, with 400,000 people, is accessible only by air
-- at least 100 houses were destroyed by landslides in Chin state
-- Haka town in Chin state, with a population of 40,000, is inaccessible by road due to landslides

On Saturday, Mg Mg Khin from Myanmar's Red Cross told the BBC the country was facing "a big disaster".

Heavy rains are expected in many states, including Chin, Rakhine and Magwe, over the next two days, forecasters say.

Thousands of people are sheltering in Buddhist monasteries, but one report said people from the Rohingya Muslim minority were turned away from some shelters.

The Burma Times said security forces turned away Rohingya Muslims from abandoned schools and community centres in Rakhine.

More than half a million acres of rice paddy fields have been flooded, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation said.

The landslide in Manipur state hit a remote village in Chandel district, bordering Myanmar, early on Saturday.

Rescue teams are expected to reach the area only on Sunday because of heavy rains and landslides, a local MP said.

Continuous rain in recent days has washed away bridges and roads and left thousands homeless, India's NDTV reported.

Elsewhere, floods in Vietnam left at least 17 people dead and in western Nepal, some 36 people were killed after torrential rain triggered landslides.

India floods kill more than 100

Heavy monsoon rains in India have killed more than 100 people in the past week and forced tens of thousands of people to take shelter in relief camps, India's home ministry has said.

A cyclone struck the state of West Bengal, killing 48 people in flood-related incidents. More than 200,000 people have moved to relief camps.

India regularly witnesses severe floods during the monsoon season.

In Myanmar (also known as Burma), floods have left at least 47 dead.

Wind and rain from Cyclone Komen added to damage in India in recent days.

Nearly four million people in 10,000 villages have been affected by the floods in the worst-affected Indian state of West Bengal, the home ministry said.

More than 200 medical teams using 120 boats have reached the flood-hit areas in an effort to prevent the outbreak of water-borne diseases.


Another 28 flood-related deaths have been reported from northern Rajasthan state. Rescue workers have evacuated nearly 10,000 people to higher ground there.

Some four million people living in 14 districts in the western state of Gujarat have been affected by floods after heavy rainfall in the last few days.

At least five people have died in the eastern state of Orissa, where more than 400,000 people are affected by the floods.

On Saturday, at least 20 people were killed after a landslide in the north-eastern state of Manipur buried a while village.

India receives 80% of its annual rainfall during the monsoon between June and September.

Meanwhile, incessant rain over several weeks has led to flooding and landslides in much of Myanmar.

The refugee camps in Rakhine near the nation's capital Sitwe - which has been declared a disaster zone - have been damaged. The UN said 140,000 people are living in the camps. Most are Rohingya Muslims.

Strong 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Indonesia's Papua province
The Guardian

The quake hits 250km west of provincial capital Jayapura but geologists say no threat of tsunami.

A powerful magnitude 7.0 earthquake has struck the Indonesian province of Papua, US geologists said Tuesday, although tsunami monitors said there was no threat of dangerous waves.

The quake hit at 06.41 am (2141 GMT Monday), almost 250 kilometres (150 miles) west of the provincial capital Jayapura at a depth of 52 km, the US Geological Survey said.
Earthquakes caused by nudity, short skirts, gay marriage and other scapegoats
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The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no threat of any tsunami waves from the quake, which occurred inland underneath the Irian Jaya jungle.

The Earthquake-Report monitoring website said the area has “steep mountain ranges and its vegetation is rainforest, which means that the chance on dangerous landslides is real”.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

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