Hundreds of homes were inundated after flooding overtook a village in Kachin State’s Hukawng Valley earlier this week.
Heavy rainfall caused the water levels of rivers surrounding Shahtuzup village, off Lido road, to overflow flooding 500 homes, including a high school and an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in the village.
Locals say four wards in the lower parts of the village were affected. Only the wards on the higher ground survive unscathed.
Village headman Naw Di told KNG the flooding on July 21 was so bad that four homes floated away into the river. “We are trying to rescue them with boats.”
After losing essential supplies during the flooding, villagers need emergency aid, he said. Domestic livestock, like chickens and pigs, were carried away in the floods. They also lost valuable paddy seeds.
Baptist pastor Htoi Awng, who runs the Lawt Ja IDP camp in the village, said the camp’s water levels were so intense “they prioritized rescuing humans over animals.”
There has never been flooding in Shahtuzup before, causing residents to wonder if the mining in the area is the cause of it.
“The whole village was flooded this year,” Htoi Awng says. “I think the flooding could have something to do with gold mining in this area. It is a consequence of environmental damage.”
Shahtuzup is surrounded by three rivers: Hkawng Law Hka, Shahtu Hka, and Mogaung Hka.