Thousands of rats threaten people in Myanmar’s south-western region

YANGON — Thousands of rats have threatened people and devoured plants in Nga Pu Taw township in Myanmar’s south-western Ayeyarwady region since Sunday, local media reported Tuesday.

The rats were found in compounds of 20 houses located near the coast in Zee Chai village in Nga Pu Taw town.

More than 800 rats have been killed and the rest have run into the nearby forest, according to the local people.

Local people are concerned about the diseases brought by rats.

The dead are sent to the National Health Laboratory in Yangon to check them for possible viruses, according to the Health Department in Ayeyarwady region.

Authorities are trying to find out why rats enter the villages. Heavy rain and high sea levels, earthquake and storm might be the reasons, local people said.

According to the Ministry of Information, rats also entered some villages in Haigyi Island in Ayeyarwady and more than 1,600 rats have been killed.

In 2004, rats devoured things in villages in Pathein, capital of Ayeyarwady region, due to the lack of food, but no one suffered from rodent-borne diseases.