India funds flood, earthquake warning systems in Myanmar

India has launched a flood and earthquake early warning systems in Myanmar aimed at helping the country mitigate the effects of natural calamities that affect millions of people every year.

Vikram Misri, India’s ambassador to Myanmar, inaugurated on Friday the New Delhi-financed project to develop the Long-Lead Flood Early Warning System and Earthquake Monitoring System in Myanmar, which is expected to give the government more information on mitigating the effects of disasters.

“Both systems will be housed in the Department of Meteorology and Hydrography (DMH) of the Ministry of Transport and Communications in Nay Pyi Taw,” according to a statement issued by the embassy on Friday.

The systems have been tested and verified and are now fully integrated with existing Myanmar disaster mitigation systems.

“Under the Flood Warning System, 12 automatic water level stations and 3 automatic weather stations have been established, and under the Earthquake Monitoring System, 10 telemetered seismic stations have been added to the 8 station network of the DMH,” the embassy statement said.

Misri said that the activation of the two early warning systems is timely as the country just marked the 10th anniversary of Cyclone Nargis, which was estimated to have killed more than 140,000 people when it struck the country in 2008.

Cyclone Nargis was described as the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of Myanmar.

Enhancing Myanmar’s capacity for better forecasting and monitoring extreme weather events such as Nargis would go a long way toward better preparation and mitigation of damage from such natural disasters, said Ambassador Misri.

The envoy also highlighted the participatory nature of the projects whereby Myanmar experts are involved from start to end.

He also underscored the use of relevant scientific and technological tools that avoided unnecessary financial burdens on the host country and the back-up that was always available to the systems through linkages with key organisations in India, Europe and elsewhere.

Misri said the projects “were a splendid example of sustainable cooperation that leveraged institutional resources from within the country and provided an alternative model for the development partner-beneficiary country relationship.”

Source: Myanmar Times

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