02 MAY 2020 - Source: Myanmar Times: The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement on May 2 informed the public that a low pressure area that has been forming in the southeast of the Bay of Bengal could develop into a depression within four days.

According to the observation of the Department of Meterology and Hydrology (DMH), if a storm develops it could head towards the coastal regions in Myanmar, namely Yangon, Ayeyarwady, and Rakhine, bringing heavy rain, tidal waves, flooding, and soil erosions, the ministry warned in the state-owned newspaper.

The ministry urged the public to take the following measures to prepare for the bad weather:

1. Make sure one's house is prepared to endure strong wind and heavy rain;

2. Make sure emergency items such as food, water, important documents, and COVID-19 protective equipment are ready;

3. Each family should set up a meeting point as well as having contact information of the ward, village, town contact person in case of a storm;

4. Be on the alert for tidal waves; and

5. Relocate to a safer location for those living in mountainous areas to avoid land slides.

Two days earlier, on April 30, the DMH said a low-pressure area will form in the Southeast Bay of Bengal which could trigger rain in some parts of Myanmar on the weekend.

In particular, "Ayeyarwady Region and Rakhine State should be on the alert for risks of a storm," said U Kyaw Moe Oo, director general of the DMH.

The pre-monsoon period from April to May and the post-monsoon period from October to December is typically the high-risk storm season in Myanmar. The country typically experiences power cuts and disruptions to water supply during this period.

The social welfare ministry has put up two numbers to call if the public needs information or assistance. The hotline numbers are 067-3404666 and 067-3404777.