YANGON • Severe flooding across Myanmar hampered rescue efforts yesterday as thousands of people sheltered at monasteries after rising waters triggered by torrential rains killed at least 27 people, officials said.
Heavy monsoon rain has battered vast swathes of the country in recent weeks, destroying tens of thousands of homes and fields and leaving people stranded in remote villages in a disaster that is testing the government's limited relief operations.
"Most of the country is flooded now," said a director at the social welfare ministry who did not want to be named.
He said that all but one of Myanmar's 14 provinces and regions were affected by the flash floods, rising waters and landslides caused by the downpours.
Western Rakhine and Chin states are among the four worstaffected areas in the country, with President Thein Sein on Friday declared them "national disasteraffected regions", the Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.