Rakhine’s preparedness for disaster

26 cyclone shelters in the pipeline for Rakhine State

A scale model of the school-cum-cyclone shelter to be constructed in Rakhine State.  Photo: Supplied
A scale model of the school-cum-cyclone shelter to be constructed in Rakhine State.  Photo: Supplied

The Rakhine State Disaster Management Department is planning to build 26 more cyclone shelters in Rakhine State during the 2018-2019 fiscal year (FY), according to State Disaster Management Department Director U Kyaw Min.
“Tenders were invited for the project. Now, we are selecting the tenders.
The duration of the construction may be five to six months. After constructing these shelters, there will be a total of 52 cyclone shelters in Rakhine State,” he added.
From April 2016 to February 2018, a total of 155 natural disasters occurred in Rakhine State. Of these, 62 were storms, 48 fires, 13 floods, seven lighting strikes, three river bank erosions, one earthquake and 21 other types of natural disasters.
“We are implementing preventative works, as Rakhine State is where disasters mostly happen. There were 22 cyclone shelters in Rakhine State. Four more cyclone shelters are under construction now with the help of Bangladesh and are targeted to be completed in June and July.
An additional 26 cyclone shelters are also planned to be constructed in this FY, with an aim to cover two thirds of the state,” U Kyaw Min said.
Storms and floods mostly occur in Rakhine State as Rakhine has a long coastline. Apart from the mountainous areas, strong winds used to occur in the plain area. A tsunami can also take place if an earthquake occurs in the Bay of Bengal.
Therefore, the disaster management department is carrying out preventive works in the region, in the two main sectors of infrastructure and public awareness.
These two sectors are implemented together. Cyclone shelters are being constructed. Public talks, trainings, workshops and disaster drills are also being held since 2016 for public awareness. Rakhine State is accelerating the preventive works in order to respond quickly to disasters, he said.
— Zaw Thu Htet

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