By Tione Andsen
Lilongwe, December 30, Mana: Media have been challenged to raise awareness to the public on the looming cyclone and what was expected of them to save lives and property.
Commissioner for Disaster Management Affairs, James Chiusiwa made the challenge Wednesday in Lilongwe during the Press briefing on the State of Preparedness for the looming Tropical Cyclone Chalane.
He said the media has a very big role to play in reducing disaster risks and losses in the country.
Chiusiwa said tropical cyclone Chalane was coming at the time the Department of Disaster Affairs (DODMA) enhanced awareness of the public on flooding and lightning.
“A week ago, one national radio station started airing early warning jingles and three more national stations and 23 community radios across the country,” he said
The Commissioner said in total, the Department would air about 4,000 early warning slots between December 2020 and March 2021 through funding from United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)-Malawi, World Bank and Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS).
Chiusiwa added the Public Communication Cluster has developed messages to raise awareness to the public on Cyclone Chalane and what was expected of communities at risk, to save lives and property with emphasis on calling people in flood-prone areas to move upland.
“The developed messages have since been shared with district, town, municipal and city councils for airing on community radio stations and loud hailing,” he pointed out.
Director of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, Jolamu Nkhokwe said the onset of any rainfall season is a tropical cyclone season in the Indian oceans.
He said Cyclones do form on oceans not on the ground because they are full of water and are source of humidity
Nkhokwe said cyclones develop in the oceans when temperatures are above 27 degrees Celsius within tropics, within equator zone.
He said cyclones are a group of thunder storm bound together in the ocean.