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October 15, 2019

To reduce risks of earthquakes

About 47 moderate earthquakes have hit Myanmar this year. This reminded Myanmar citizens again that they live in an earthquake prone area where high intensity earthquakes can rattle at any time, according to seismologists. They point out that Myanmar is situated on one of the world’ two main earthquake belt. Destructive earthquakes are not strangers in the history of Myanmar although some of us have forgotten them.
Earthquakes cannot be predicted but losses of life and property can be reduced if disaster preparedness programs are implemented properly. Disaster preparedness includes risk reduction and improving responses to earthquakes.
To reduce the earthquake risk, it is important to identify earthquake zones in Myanmar and special measures should be taken in those areas, especially cities, where a large number of people live in substandard apartment buildings and old apartment buildings. As earthquakes are known as urban disasters, building standards should be enforced in cities at a time of construction boom in Myanmar. Moreover, the strength of old apartment buildings should also be inspected regularly.
For disaster response measures, each city in Myanmar should have disaster response plan for earthquakes in place. Emergency services such as health workers, fire services, the police and so on should be trained how to respond during and after an earthquake. People in cities, especially children, women and senior citizens, should also be educated on how to respond during an earthquake.

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