Myanmar: More than 60 000 affected by dam collapse

Flooding from a ruptured dam in Myanmar has forced the relocation of more than 63 000 people and disrupted traffic on a major road that connects the country's three biggest cities, officials said on Thursday.

The Information Ministry said the water that rushed from the Swar Chaung Dam in Bago Region beginning on Wednesday caused flooding in 85 villages, affecting 63 421 people.

Makeshift repairs began on Thursday on a damaged bridge on the Yangon-Mandalay Highway whose supports appeared to be intact but whose spans had buckled.

The bridge over the Swar River, south of the capital, Naypyidaw, consists of two separate structures to accommodate traffic in each direction. All traffic was being routed onto the undamaged structure.

Some sections of the highway were under water.

Rainy season downpours that began in June have wreaked havoc in much of mainland Southeast Asia, filling dams to their limits and beyond, and flooding many areas. A breach in a dam in southern Laos in July caused a flash flood that took at least three dozen lives.

A series of floods in eight regions and states in Myanmar since July have killed at least 17 people and displaced more than 200 000.

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