August 19, 2016

Desperate times call for decisive action

Myanmar is currently undergoing unprecedented flooding, with incessant rains putting a quarter of the nation under water.
Despite earlier calls by a weather expert and some environmentalists, it was not until late Friday that the government declared a state of emergency in four heavily-inundated areas.
Days of catastrophic flooding have caused loss of life and property destruction in Chin State, Sagaing Region, Magway Region and Rakhine State to the extent that it would take significant time for these areas to return to normal.
It is beyond doubt that heavy rain has made the country’s major rivers swell above their danger levels, prompting a few dams to vomit extra water out of their spillways.
Weather expert U Tun Lwin, a former director-general at the Meteorology and Hydrology Department, quoted a NASA forecast dated 1 August in warning of possible landslides in southern Chin State and northern Rakhine State.
The best that can be said is that the government has now stepped forward to the rescue efforts, though late, using military aircraft and personnel braving bad weather to overcome difficult accessibility to affected areas.
Acting on their own initiative, many social and philanthropic organizations have been on the scene since soon after the disasters. Lending a helping hand to the desperate plight of victims in disasters is our duty as fellow humans.


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