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El Nino phenomenon could hit Burma in August, November

New Delhi (Mizzima) – There is more than a 50 per cent probability that an El Nino weather phenomenon will occur again in Burma this August, said Burmese meteorologist Tun Lwin. In 2010, some lakes dried up because of the EL Nino effect in Burma.

Low water levels at Inlay Lake  recently were caused by silting and the logging of timber around the lake, in addition to abnormally high temperatures. Photo: MizzimaAccording to observations recorded by 25 El Nino watch groups around the world, there is a 50 per cent probability in August and a 70 per cent probability in November.

Dr. Tun Lwin said that only a strong El Nino could affect Burma.

“The epicentre of El Nino is far from Burma. The epicentre is located near Peru and Ecuador in South America,” Tun Lwin told Mizzima. Typically, an El Nino leads to drought and very high temperatures in certain parts of the world.
The El Nino condition is based upon the Oceanic Nino Index. When water temperature is 5 degree Celsius higher than normal temperatures in the sea, an El Nino can occur. If it is nine degree higher than normal, a strong El Nino will occur.

“El Nino can spoil a monsoon. It causes drought, so the whole country could suffer bad consequences. I don’t want to say that El Nino can affect only Central Burma. It can affect the whole country. There is little rain in Central Burma even in normal conditions so you could say that Central Burma could be severely affected,” Tun Lwin said.

The lifetime of an El Nino phenomenon is one year. Tun Lwin said that relevant governmental departments should issue warnings about a possible El Nino.

“Departments such as agricultural and health departments should issue warnings. To avoid heath problems and a problem of scarcity of water, we need to prepare well,” Tun Lwin said.

In 2010, lakes, ponds and wells dried up in Mon, Arakan, and Shan states, Rangoon, Pegu, Irrawaddy, Sagaing, Mandalay and Magwe regions because of El Nino. Temperatures reached 47 degree Celsius in Myinmu in Sagaing Region, 46.5 degree in Myinchan in Mandalay Region, 45 degree in Monywa (Sagaing Region) and Magwe (Magwe Region), and 44.8 degree in Nyaungoo in Mandalay Region.

A state-run newspaper reported on May 14, 2010, that 11 people in Taungdwingyi, Magwe Region, were hospitalized due to high temperatures and seven died; 14 people in Nyaungoo in Mandalay Region were hospitalized due to high temperatures.

Myinmu, Myinchan, Monywa, Magwe, Mandalay, Meiktila, Rangoon (Kabaraye), Kawthaung, Mogok, Theinzayat, Minbu, Naypyitaw, Pyinoolwin, Yamethin, Khayam faced a total of 21 high temperature records in 2010, Rangoon-based Weekly Eleven journal reported.

Last Updated ( Friday, 15 July 2011 09:21 )  

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