Beware of fake news


Nowadays, news of natural disasters is spreading fast all around the country. with Internet acting as the fastest and the most effective distributer of information, whether it may be true or not. Let alone the print media, the social media is even much faster than its electronic counterparts — radio and television. But all of us must be aware of the spread of fake news, some released with the sinister intention of causing panic among the people and instability in the country.
It is true that Bago Region, Mon and Kayin states and certain areas of the country are facing monsoon floods. But we all know that this is not the first time our country has faced floods, particularly at this time of the rainy season, when monsoon comes with the highest level of precipitation.
We have ways to alleviate the impact of a natural disaster, especially through advance preparations. We will be like the grasshopper of one of the Aesop’s Fables if we fail to take preparatory measures as it is a common knowledge that our country is usually prone to floods, during the peak of the monsoon season.
The Meteorology and Hydrology Department is releasing daily weather forecast in connection with precipitation, cyclones or strong winds and water levels of rivers, through the print media and the electronic media in real time.
The National Natural Disaster Management Committee, on its part, is providing the whole country with knowledge of natural disasters and preventive ways. But we are not sure whether the great majority of the country is seriously heeding those warnings and advice.
The impact of downpours raises water levels and adds strength to water currents, turning rivers into dangerous waterways. And on land, floods with strong currents can sweep away property, people and animals. Researchers suggest that a body of water four feet in depth and moving at 20 miles per hour can cause of lot of damages. As humans and farm animals are terrestrial, they find it difficult to make movement in the water, especially when it is chest-deep and moving. Moreover, moving water can take away property or humans or animals to deeper parts where they can be drowned. So, we should not try to cross the currents during the downpours.
All in all, we must all pay serious attention to weather forecasts and warnings issued by the relevant bodies. Additionally, we must have awareness of the fake news and information, and if possible, we must identify them and fight back.

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