People evacuated from homes after dam breach flooded towns and cities in Myanmar

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More than 50,000 people evacuated their homes in central Myanmar on Wednesday after a dam breach flooded towns and villages and caused the closure of a major highway, two officials said.

Fire authorities sent a team to the Swar irrigation dam after the breach at 5.30 am (11pm GMT) unleashed water into the nearby town of Swar and several other settlements.

No casualties have been reported, but thousands took shelter in temporary camps.

Many people, including some not directly affected by flooding, had decided to leave their homes for fear the water level could rise further, said an official of the Natural Disaster Management Department.

In all, 12,000 households or 54,000 people had been displaced, said another official from the Department of Relief and Resettlement.

The Guardian reports the Swar dam’s spillway structure, which regulates the release of water from the levee, broke as a result of heavy monsoon rains in the Bago region, authorities said, inundating about 100 villages and blocking the country’s main highway.

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