|Photo by Freeimages.com/Vanessa Fitzgerald|
Severe flooding in Myanmar has killed at least 47 and closed many travel routes in the region.
Destination management company ICS Travel Group reports that 11 of the country's 14 provinces are flooded, with the exception of Yangon Region, Tanintaryi Region (Mergui, Kawthaung, Dawei) and Kayah State.
The following areas have been designated as Disaster Zones: Sagaing Region (Kalaymyo, also Tamu), Magwe Region (Saku, Pwint Phyu, Satuttara), Rakhine State including Sittwe & Mrauk Oo and Chin State (Hakha, Falam, Tidim, Rih Lake region and Matupi).
Also in Karen State, Hpa An and Mon State (Kyaikhto, Belin and Mawlamyaing) are flooded.
The flooding has also closed the following travel routes:
- Chin State (including Mt. Victoria)
- Kalaymyo and Tamu
- Hsipaw-Lashio (by train)
- Bhamaw-Katha (by car)
- Sittwe and Mrauk Oo
- Magwe Region
- Irrawaddy Region
The floods have killed at least 47 and displaced more than 210,000 people, according to Reuters. Myanmar's civilian government has called for international aid to deal with the situation, a move that Reuters says marks a shift from the previous military government's policy. During a major cyclone in 2008 that killed 130,000, the military government refused outside help.
Myanmar's civilian government took power in 2011, a move that did much to open up the country for travel -- it was tapped as one of our Emerging Destinations earlier that year. New elections are scheduled for this November.
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for further updates on this developing story.