Weather expert warns people in northern Myanmar of flash floods and landslides as "Norwester" approaches

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(New Light of Myanmar, 29 Apr 2014)

By Aye Min Soe

Yangon, 28 April — A Myanmar top weather expert has issued a flash flood and landslides warning, urging people in the north of the country to be on alert as rain, thunderstorms and hail are likely to hit those areas within 72 hours beginning on Monday evening.

U Tun Lwin, an ex-meteorologist and former director-general of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, posted the warning on his facebook page, saying that a “Norwester”, a cluster of thunder cloud, was approaching Myanmar from North West.

The wind speed is expected to reach between 35 to 45 miles per hour during heavy rain fall, with some gusty winds likely to peak at 55 miles per hour, he added. “People working on farmland or near rivers should be particularly cautious.

Anyone working on a ship must be on alert, even if they are far away from the coast off northern Myanmar,” U Tun Lwin said.

According to the weather forecast released at 2 pm on Monday by the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, rain and thundershowers hit large parts of Kachin State, the upper part of Sagaing Region, Bago Region and Taninthayi Region, as well as Sagaing Region and Shan State within the last 24 hours. Heavy rain was also reported in Mandalay Region, with overcast skies in the remaining regions and states, according to weather experts.

On Sunday, strong winds and hail hit Ayeyawady Delta, with more than 100 houses damaged in Hinthada township. Nearly 110 people had to be evacuated and now live in temporary shelters, but officials said there have been no reports of casualties.