Prime Minister allocates unconditional funds for natural disasters: Vice-Senior General

VICE-CHAIRMAN of the State Administration Council Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior Gen­eral Soe Win, who is also Chair­man of the National Disaster Management Committee-NDMC, addressed the 1/2024 committee meeting yesterday.


In his address, the Vice-Sen­ior General recounted that the Prime Minister instructed all to take lessons from the impacts of climate change in order to con­sider and make preparations not to happen similar cases in the country.


Moreover, the world coun­tries, including Myanmar, are likely to face the impacts of El Niño and La Niña. Due to glob­al warming, when the current global average temperature is compared to the one of 1850-1900, the average temperature is rising year by year for El Niño, and it experiences high annual temper­atures through an evolutionary influence on global warming due to the El Niño.


Starting from May 2023, El Niño occurred in world countries, reached moderate strength in July and August, and peaked as a vital event between September 2023 and February 2024. It is likely to get a weak stage until May 2024 and return to normal condi­tions between June and October, according to the World Weather Watch. He then mentioned the enormous impacts of El Niño that caused the ice shelf to melt faster, heavy snowfall, and the highly severe cyclonic storm Mocha in Myanmar on 14 May 2023.


As a consequence of El Niño, extreme weather conditions can be seen in summer across the world in 2024, and certain town­ships of Myanmar, like Chauk, Magway, Minbu and NyaungU, are included in the world’s 15 hottest cities.


According to the statements of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, about 30 weather stations conducted 50 tempera­ture measuring activities until mid-May 2024, and it found new record high temperatures. Due to such high temperatures, the Cumulonimbus occurred from the heat cloud stage and caused downbursts that disturbed flights in certain regions.


He added that the AHA Cen­tre compiled the weather com­parison between 2023 and May 2024, and it showed there were 829 earthquakes, floods, land­slides and volcano eruptions in 2023, whereas 539 cases within five months from January to May 2024. When looking at such a list, natural disasters occur more fre­quently.


The natural disaster caused losses worth US$642.4 million in 2023 and US$22.4 million from January to May 2024.


He also instructed all to make preparations as the monsoon pe­riod will begin soon in Myanmar and to conduct public awareness programmes frequently for the people regarding the weather conditions and advisory as the DMH of the Ministry of Transport and Communications released the cyclone warnings.


He continued that the wild­fire occurred in Ghana and Nige­ria in 2023, and about 175,000 hec­tares of Greece’s Dadia National Park were destroyed by wildfire. Moreover, the catastrophic flood occurred in Congo, Chile, Califor­nia and Brazil, leaving thousands of people homeless. A magnitude 7.8 earthquake occurred in Tür­kiye and the border of Syria, and the cyclonic storm occurred in Greece, Türkiye and Libya.


He also talked about the preparations and rehearsals made in advance for Mocha in May 2023 under the guidance of the Prime Minister, cooperation of regions/state natural disaster management committees, and successful efforts in overcoming Mocha at least minimal damages during the short period.


He added that Standing Order 2022 for natural disaster management was approved at the 1/2022 meeting and that the work plans for working commit­tees were drafted. Some min­istries, regions and states are still remaining to compile for the Standing Order. So, they are now urged to draft the work plans based on the Natural Disaster Management Standing Order 2022 as quickly as possible.


He also underscored that the Prime Minister set a policy for utilizing the natural disaster man­agement committee fund and the buildings to shelter during floods and storms and cyclone shelters in coastal regions and storm-prone areas. The Prime Minister unconditionally permits the fund regarding the fund proposed by the ministries and regional and state governments. Therefore, officials of respective region and state disaster management com­mittees should make efforts to ensure the completion of building constructions, as well as durabil­ity and quality. At the same time, the government aims not to cause causalities in disasters.


He finally called on the at­tendees to participate in a dis­cussion on emergency responses, recuse and rehabilitation works.


Then, the committee’s Vice- Chairs Union Ministers Lt-Gen Yar Pyae and Dr Soe Win, the committee secretary and other committee members discussed the public awareness pro­grammes, emergency response, rescue works, spending of funds, moderate cyclone occurring in the central Bay of Bengal.


The meeting concluded with remarks by the Vice-Senior Gen­eral. — MNA/KTZH