Flooding in northern Myanmar leaves 9 dead

ANGON: Monsoon rain in northwestern Myanmar has triggered heavy flooding, leaving nine people dead and affecting 70,000 others, the UN's emergency relief organization said Saturday.

The report on Sagaing Region from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that 12,000 houses have been damaged and schools forced to close.

The region registered a 24-hour rainfall of 7.8 inches (20 centimeters), the highest in 24 years, according to The Myanmar Ahlin newspaper.

Flooding has submerged hundreds of acres (hectares) of paddy fields and inundated roads and rail lines, disrupting transportation. Heavy rain also has damaged sections of central Myanmar's Mandalay-Myitkyina rail line, forcing a partial suspension of service.

The UN report flooding has affected more than 800 households in northern Kachin state, forcing the relocation of some.

Flooding is common during Myanmar's monsoon season, which typically starts in late May and ends in mid-October.