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One week after the cyclone Nargis - scenes of Yangon and Ayayarwaddy divisions in Myanmar - posted 17 May 2008 Back to stories index

Cyclone Nargis hard hit south-eastern Ayeyarwaddy division, and Yangon division in the delta region of southern Myanmar throughout 02 May night and 03 May morning. Although people in the towns and city areas received warning from the radio, tv and newspapers as early as 02 May morning most people living in the country side - farmers and fishermen - were left un-prepared to face the sudden arrival of strong wind and flood that followed the cyclone.

In Bogale, Pya Pon, and De Da Ye townships in Ayeyarwaddy divison, and Kun Gyan Gon township in Yangon division the (sea) water flood reached as far as 35 km inland putting many villages and roads inundated for two days. This great flood and strong whirlwind as fast as 180 km/hour killed many people and animals, and destroyed a lot of properties and trees as well as farmlands.

A building in Yangon downtown
A building in Yangon downtown

Since the opening of the country to the construction boom in the 1990's without proper enforcement of standards and quality control combined with a to z corruption some buildings in Yangon and other cities are not only eyesore but also of low qualiy. Lack of maintenance also makes old strong structures suffer the strike of the cyclone.

A collapsed bridge at a jetty on Yangon river
A collapsed bridge at a jetty on Yangon river

Many boats were sunk by the cyclone, and floating bridges to the pier platforms were broken down along the Yangon river.

An entrance road to Yangon University
An entrance road to Yangon University

The famous
The famous "Thit Pok Pin" tree survived the cyclone

The popular large tree infront of the Science faculty survived the cyclone. Many love and other sensational stories of students are associated with the tree one way or another.

A 100-year old large tree lying infront of a student dormitory
A 100-year old tree hit by the cyclone lying in front of a student dormitory

Myanmar people helping each other by donating necessary stuff
People helping each other by donating necessary items

In Twan Te and Kaw Hmu townships in southern Yangon division people are helping the effected people by donating necessary items such as rice, salt, dry food, drinking water, and so on. Some people drive from Yangon and distribute what they bring to the villagers along the road. Most private donation reach the areas along the road and thus villagers effected by the cyclone trek to stay at the road and wait for donation.

What is left of a house
What is left of a house

Most village huts on the path of the cyclone center were wiped out. Most upper part of this house was blown away.

Setting up a refugee camp in the rain
Setting up a refugee camp in the rain

Donating food to the survivors
Donating food to the survivors

In Kun Gyun Gon township we saw a family from Yangon driving here to distribute cooked food to the survivers.

Cyclone survivors living along the road
Cyclone survivors living along the road in De Da Ye township in Ayeyarwaddy division.

A surviving farmer family brought whatever was left of their house to the road and built a temporary shelter. There they stay on the road-side and wait for help.

Damage on Pya Pon river
Damage on Pya Pon river

When we reached Pya Pon bridge over Pya Pon river (one branch of Ayeyarwaddy river upon draining into the Andaman sea) more damages were awaiting.

Damage on Pya Pon river
Damage on Pya Pon river

Pya Pon No. 1 High School
A high School in Pya Pon

Damage in Pya Pon
An old house in Pya Pon

After Pya Pon the next town is Bogalay which is one of the hardest hit - only second to the places close to the sea. However people in Pya Pon suggested that the salon car we were traveling was not good because of its low frame. The road was said to be not in a good condition. So we turn back to Yangon.

Map of Ayeyarwaddy Division

Map of Ayeyarwaddy division 1 = Thandwe (Rakhine state, airport to Ngapali beach)

2 = Kyangin (Kyan Khin)
3 = Myan Aung
4 = Gwa (Rakhine state, to Kanthaya beach)

5 = Tharawaw (Bago division)

6 = Hinthada
7 = Yegyi
8 = Danuphu
9 = Kyaung Gon
10 = Nyaung Don
11 = Enme
12 = Pathein (capital of Ayeyarwaddy division, sea port)

13 = Shwe Laung
14 = Ma U Bin
15 = Wa Ke Ma
16 = Myaung Mya
17 = Twante (Yangon division, Twante canal)
a = Kaw Hmu
b = Kun Gyan Gon

18 = Kyaik Latt
19 = Dedaye (De Da Ye)
20 = Pha Pon (Pyar Pon)
21 = Bogalay
22 = Labutta
23 = Zi Jaik (Hti Jaik)
24 = Cape of Negrais (Maw Tin)

B1 = Ngapali beach (Rakhine)
B2 = Kanthaya beach (Rakhine)
B3 = Chaung Tha beach
B4 = Ngwe Saung beach
B5 = Letkokkon beach (Yangon division)

C = Twante canal, connecting Toe river (one of many branches of the Ayeyarwaddy when draining into Andaman sea) and Yangon river

N = Mein Ma Hla island wildlife reserve

R1 = The Ayeyarwaddy river
R2 = Nga Won river
R3 = Pathein river

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