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Myanmar Takes Preventive Measures against Natural Disaster
    2008-06-20 11:32:25     Xinhua

Myanmar has been placing emphasis on taking preventive measures against natural disaster, especially after the country was severely hit by a tropical cyclone storm Nargis early last month which killed over 77,000 people.

Taking lesson of the bitter experience, Myanmar is starting to introduce life jackets to all people in cyclone-hit coastal areas in Yangon division as part of its preventive measures against natural disaster, according to the Biweekly Eleven journal Friday.

Such distribution is being initially made to each villager in Kungyangon and Latkokegon townships in the division, the report said.

In the wake of a landslide caused by six-hour midnight torrential rain on June 11-12 in Myanmar's northern part of Mogok, which claimed the lives of 11 people, the authorities is also taking preventive measures against floods caused by torrential rains, calling on people to exercise a constant vigilance against floods triggered by swelling rivers, creeks and streams in the coastal regions and northern part of Myanmar with torrential rains as there used to be heavy rains in June and July.

With the assistance of experts from the Tokyo University of Japan and with the combination of technical knowhow applied in most cyclone-hit Bangladesh, Pakistan and India, and that of Myanmar's local regions, a first-ever cyclone-resistant model village is planned to be constructed in the country, according to the Myanmar Engineers' Association.

Such model village will be initially built in suitable location in Yangon division, one of two cyclone-hardest-hit divisions after Ayeyawaddy delta, by taking two years' time and is targeted to be completed by February 2010.

The 40-house model village will comprise storm shelter, water distribution system using natural gravity, solar-energy power supply system and cyclone-resistant apartments, the association said.

Referring the model village, cyclone shelters will be built in 500 villages in disaster-hit regions to resist cyclone and earthquake attack in the future.

A sample cyclone shelter will be constructed at a village in Ayeyawaddy division.

Myanmar has also sent an engineering delegation to neighboring Thailand to study resettled villages there destroyed by tsunami in 2004 as a reference to build more storm-resistant model village.

Such storm-resistant model village, to be constructed by the association with technical guidance of the Asia Institute of Technology of Thailand, will consist of water and electricity supply systems, roads, buildings, schools and hospitals.

Some villages in southern Thailand, hit by then tsunami, have been rebuilt and in place to resist natural disaster on emergency case.

Meanwhile, Myanmar also stressed the preservation of mangrove to mitigate the impact of cyclone storm, calling on people to focus on regrowing the plantation after disaster.

Despite destruction of some mangrove in Myanmar's Ayeyawaddy delta region during the recent cyclone storm, it had been able to prevent some villages from inflicting casualties, local media said, citing an instance that although a 1,300-population village, Thantheik, in Dedaye township in the Ayeyawaddy division, lies at a point where rivers meet, no one died in the cyclone as the mangrove had been able to bring down the speed of the tidal wave, enabling villagers there to escape from deaths.

Similar instances also show that no one was killed also in Meinmahlagyun village in the division's Bogalay exceptionally.

Deadly tropical cyclone Nargis, which occurred over the Bay of Bengal, hit five divisions and states -- Ayeyawaddy, Yangon, Bago, Mon and Kayin on last May 2 and 3, of which Ayeyawaddy and Yangon inflicted the heaviest casualties and massive infrastructure damage.

Villages in some townships such as Ngaputaw, Laputta, Bogalay, Dedaye, Phyapon, Mawlamyinegyun and Haigyigyun in Ayeyawaddy delta and Kungyangon, Kawmu and Kyauktan in Yangon division were almost totally destroyed and some even erased.

The storm has killed 77,738 people and left 55,917 missing and 19,359 injured according to official-released death toll.



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