International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction ceremony observed in Nay Pyi Taw

Vice President U Henry Van Thio inspecting a booth. Photo: MNA
Vice President U Henry Van Thio inspecting a booth. Photo: MNA

VICE President U Henry Van Thio called for commitment to reducing natural disasters in Myanmar, stressing the importance of cooperation between the people and authorities for the sake of the safety of the people.
He made the remarks at his opening address at the ceremony marking International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction in Nya Pyi Taw yesterday.
“In doing so, there are two levels—national level initiatives and public level initiatives. It cannot be implemented in one day, one month or one year; thus we need to participate with concerted effort.” said the vice president.
U Henry Van Thio revealed, “Over the past 25 years there have occurred 24 costly disasters in all in Myanmar, once every year on average. Victims numbering 4 million or so suffered thereupon from the loss of $ 4.7 billion altogether.”
Present at the ceremony, held at the Myanmar International Convention Centre, Nay Pyi Taw, at 9 am this morning were Union Ministers, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw representatives, chairmen and vice-chairmen of natural disaster management committees, diplomatic corps, regional representatives, those from local and foreign organisations and officials from social institutions.
In his address, Vice President U Henry Van Thio disclosed, “According to index for potential losses due to natural disasters, 2016, Myanmar is ranked number 8 out of 191 countries, expected to be 6.8 potential index figures. As per the study of past events, natural disasters in the past two decades claimed heavy casualties totalling over 600,000, in which earthquakes stood first, followed by storms, heatstroke and drought. In terms of losses in the economy, the period from 1995 until now was the top, reaching an amount of US $ 1 trillion and above. It was found that after 2000, there occurred disasters claiming the worst deaths. Undeniably, it is the result of worldwide climate change.”
The Vice President added, “Observing annual ceremonies is to arouse the awareness of the populace in the campaigns against the reduction of natural disasters, assuming that success cannot be attained without active participation of the whole population in resettlement and rescue works. To become a disaster-resistant nation, a firm resolution in reducing natural disasters is of great importance.”
HE Mr Peter Batchelor, UNDP’s representative to Myanmar read out the message sent by the UN Secretary-General, and a documentary video in commemoration of International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction was shown to the audience.
At the end of the ceremony the VP invited guests to pose for a documentary photograph and inspected booths exhibiting activities carried out and emergency rescue equipment.
The UN General Assembly commenced to designate 13 October as the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction on 21 December, 2009. The theme for 2016 is “Live to tell: Raising Awareness, Reducing Mortality.”—Myanmar News Agency

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