India alerted Myanmar 36 hours before cyclone hitMay 7th, 2008 - 5:41 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) India had issued alerts and advisories to neighbouring Myanmar about Cyclone Nargis 36 hours before it made a landfall in the country, killing at least 22,000 people, a meteorological official said Wednesday. “We had issued specific information and alerts to Myanmar about the movement of the cyclone,” Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) director B.P. Yadav said.
The IMD is the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) recognised by the apex World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). It provides alerts and warnings to countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and Thailand.
“We have been monitoring the cyclone situation from the time of its origin in the Bay of Bengal. Nearly 36 hours before the cyclone hit Myanmar May 2, we had issued warnings,” Yadav told IANS.
IMD authorities said the information provided to Myanmar included the tropical cyclone’s severity, wind speed of nearly 180 km per hour and its trajectory.
The comment has come at a time when the US has accused the military junta of Myanmar of failure in being ready to face the disaster that resulted in massive loss of lives and properties.
The cyclone is estimated to have claimed so far nearly 22,500 people and over 41,000 others are reported missing. The international community, including India, have rushed to help the country battle one of Asia’s worst natural disasters.