Upgrading Myanmar’s weather services totals to USD 10-million

22nd May 2008, Comments 0 comments

The UN weather service experts proposed the plan Wednesday after a fact-finding mission to the cyclone-hit country.

22 May 2008

GENEVA – The UN weather service experts proposed a USD 10 million-plan Wednesday to replace and upgrade cyclone-hit Myanmar's early warning systems.

A group of experts from the UN World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), back from a fact-finding mission to the country, confirmed they had found serious failings. Better observation and radar systems were needed said the head of risk reduction at WMO, Dieter Schiessl.

Other equipment, that had been destroyed when Cyclone Nargis swept across the region on 2 May, needed to be replaced urgently.

Improvements were also needed to guarantee electricity even in times of severe storms. Meteorological equipment had been disrupted by power cuts as the cyclone approached.

Extra staff should be trained and better lines of communication should be set up to serve the population, said the WMO.

The WMO experts had travelled to the country after saying poor weather warning equipment and a lack of preparation had contributed to the scale of the disaster.

The official death toll now stands at more than 77,000 dead and almost 60,000 missing.

[dpa / Expatica]

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