The Meteorology and Hydrology Department has warned that a low-pressure weather system forming over the northwest portion of the Bay of Bengal is persisting, which could trigger a major monsoon over the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal.
The weather bureau advised the people who live near the riverbank and low-lying areas at Thabaung Township to take precautionary measures, as the water level of the Ngawun River in the Ayeyawady delta is expected to reach its danger level over the next two days.
This is also alerting us that we are now in the monsoon season, which often brings disasters such as flooding, lightning strikes, and landslides, which are not new to our country. The monsoon-related disasters cause loss of lives and properties, and wreak havoc to our infrastructure of roads, bridges and irrigation facilities.
Preparedness is the only way to ease the impacts of natural disasters. Preventive works should be focused on areas where flooding often occurs, and in hilly areas, which are at risk of landslides.
We should also be on the alert on secondary disasters that can originate from a primary disaster in another area. For example, a cyclone in Chittagong, Bangladesh moved over Maungtaw in Rakhine State, bringing torrential rainfall to northern Myanmar and flash floods in Magway Region that resulted in a score of deaths. For this reason, we should prepare for secondary disasters.
The disaster management committees in regions and states are carrying out prevention work in terms of infrastructure development and public awareness.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement has adopted a policy to assist the people in withstanding natural disasters, and cooperation is very important in making this a reality.
Although the ministry is low in manpower with limited financial resources, the entire ministry is ready to respond quickly to disasters and its efforts to minimise casualties in monsoon-related disasters is highly appreciated. True. We cannot completely predict disasters, but early preparedness can help mitigate the damage.
The weather bureau has been providing weather updates to the public in a timely manner through state-run radio, television and newspapers.
People, on their part, are urged to keep a close watch on weather updates and warnings during the rainy season. It pays to be prepared.