Rising floodwaters have swallowed a Buddhist pagoda in central Myanmar and sent tens of thousands fleeing their homes, as the government warned of more heavy rains ahead. Dramatic footage circulating on social media showed the riverside, gold-leaf-covered Thiri Yadana Pyilone Chantha Pagoda sinking into the raging waters of the Ayeyarwady river in Magway region, with shocked bystanders looking on as its golden spire collapsed beneath the waves. Abbott U

Pyinnya Linkkara, who filmed the footage, said the pagoda was destroyed on Thursday (July 20) last week.”This pagoda was built in 2009, when it was far away from the river,” he told AFP by phone on Monday. “Year by year, the river has eroded the land and now the pagoda has fallen into the river.”He said flooding was common in the area during the monsoon that runs from May to October, but this year’s floods caused alarming erosion.  Some riverside villages have been washed away entirely, he said.  READ MORE