The Swar creek dam in Myanmar failed last Wednesday unleashing waters that blocked a major highway and forced more than 63,000 people from their homes in 85 villagers.
The disaster highlights safety concerns about dams in Southeast Asia after last month’s collapse of a hydroelectric dam in neighbouring Laos that displaced thousands of people and killed at least 27.
Firefighters, troops and officials launched a desperate rescue effort on Wednesday after the spillway of an irrigation dam burst, sending a torrent of water through villages and the nearby towns of Swar and Yedashe.
By Thursday morning the water was receding, but two people remained missing and were feared to have been washed away, said Min Thu, deputy administrator of Yedashe.
Work was underway on Thursday to repair the dam, where the water level had dropped by several meters, exposing sandy banks.
Officials said the dam was regularly inspected and a spillway collapse could not have been predicted.
Paddy fields stretching from the edge of villages were inundated. It would be years before they could be planted with rice again, said Zaw Zaw, a 45-year-old farmer.
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