Ensuring safety during gale-force winds is critical in coming windy season

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It is always windy, with forecasts of strong winds from mid-February to mid-May. Magway, Sagaing, Ayeyawady, Bago regions and Shan State are most at risk from gale-strength winds.
The extreme winds cause damage to houses and buildings every year, ripping roofs off over 43,000 houses, on average, in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
After raising awareness and the need to prepare for gale force winds, beginning in 2016, buildings damaged by winds have spiralled downwards, numbered at over 37,000 last year nationwide.
As the extreme weather is on its way for March and April, we need to prepare to save lives and property among the public, as we seek to resist and respond to natural disasters.
Myanmar ranked 42nd among 171 countries worldwide that are most at risk of natural disasters, and ranked 15th highest in the world for a lack of readiness in responding to natural disasters.
Public participation is vital for natural disaster readiness.
Weather disasters are being affected by climate change that is caused by humans.
The devastation can be worsened if governments and people fail to invest in resilient buildings.
The weather bureau has recommended that people remain indoors as much as possible when gales hit. Residents are also advised to park their cars away from trees, securely lock doors and windows, and secure loose garden objects, which could be blown into windows.
We also encourage people to monitor weather forecasts, share them with others, and follow advice on remaining safe during windy weather conditions.
People are also advised to take extra care when travelling, in what was described as ‘worsening conditions.’
To seek help when natural disasters strike, the public is also advised to call the hot-line numbers of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement at 067;3404666 and 067-3404777.
But now there is another issue. While more and more people are energetically engaging in early disaster preparedness and emergency response programmes, we need to ensure that our surrounding natural environment does not further deteriorate.
Therefore, we implore everyone to keep their environment clean and promote eco-friendliness, in order to preserve our natural world. After all, this is also part of disaster risk management.

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