Drill, a culture of preparedness

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  • Myanmar is an earthquake-prone country due to its geographical location lying on major fault lines. If we do not ready ourselves to handle an earthquake, it may cause damage and casualties.
    We witnessed devastating earthquakes in the recent past, which led to loss of life, assets, livelihoods and heritage buildings.
    The Myanmar Earthquake committee made studies of the interior of the Kabaw fault in concert with international experts last year.
    The Chauk Earthquake in August 2016 did not ruin buildings apart from the many religious pagodas and stupas, which are buildings of great importance. There used to be strong earthquakes in Myanmar about once in a century. A Bago earthquake is expected to hit between 80-100 years, according to experts.
    To monitor earthquakes and alleviate earthquake-related danger, the Kabar-Aye Earthquake Observatory Center was set up in 1961, the Mandalay centre in 1966, the Sittwe center in 1984 and the Dawei center in 1985.
    After a big earthquake, there can be dangerous tremors, risk of fire and damages to dams, the possibility of volcano eruptions, landslides and tsunamis. It is crucial to undertake quick and effective activities for relief and support during the disaster.
    In Myanmar, drills are being conducted to make ourselves effective (in a disaster), and simulation exercise is important for ensuring an immediate emergency response, which includes creating a precise and strong system.
    The move is aimed at developing a culture of safety and preparedness to help prevent natural hazards from turning into disasters.
    Meanwhile, we should step up efforts for disseminating knowledge on earthquake hazards among the people.
    Media play a vital role in executing this plan, such as through television series, stories and episodes.
    All these processes are related to protecting human life and property, and if the country suffered a disaster, effective connections and organisation would play a vital role.
    We would like to urge governmental agencies concerned, experts and people to be aware of the situation and to make arrangements for an immediate response to disasters within seven days to save lives.
    It means, we must step up our efforts and plan well and invest public resources wisely with reducing disaster risk as a goal and promote a culture of safety.
    Disasters as an enemy are becoming more enigmatic and formidable.
    The situation calls for a multi-hazard approach for early warning system anchored on close coordination among hazard warning agencies.
    Disaster risk reduction and preparedness should be a way of life.
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