Friday, 26 June 2015 10:02

I remember Nargis every 2nd of May. Not only me but every person in our region has a feeling deep in our hearts when we hear a radio announcement of a storm in the Bay of Bengal. We talk to each other, ‘Nargis comes again?’


Heavy, rude rain drops are strongly beating my back. I see white lace curtains everywhere, all over the surrounding fields. I had never seen rain this heavy. I had grown up in this field from a young child to a university student. But today is the first day I had felt such heavy rude rain drops. Po Lay, Aung Ye Kyaw, Myauk Kyee and I went along the road which was across the field to Pya Maut village to fish and bathe in the rain.


First, the rain drops are not so strong. But they were strong and heavy when we reached the halfway point. So we came back to our village. That was 4 o’clock in the afternoon 2nd May 2008. Actually, many people had already been killed on Higyee Island by Nargis at that time. Kaut Mhu, our village is 20 miles from Yangon city and 100 miles from Higyee Island and knows nothing about Nargis. In the next few hours, Nargis will come to us directly. We heard that a storm is coming but whoever takes notice of just that?


I wake up at about 10 pm. First I don’t know why our house is shaking. The wind howls. I ask my father what is happening. My father replies to me that it’s a strong wind because of a storm. Actually, we are in Nargis. A little later, the sound becomes louder. At that time heavy rain drops fall on us. Then I see, our roof being blown away bit by bit. But fortunately, our shed-roofed annex remains. My father, my cat and I stay in there. Our house shakes all through the night. We can’t see our neighbours' houses. We are in hell all through the night.


We see light at 9 am. We see our surroundings hazily in the continuous rain. There was a gigantic old tamarind tree that two people could easily hug in front of our house, which has fallen across the road. All of our neighbours’ houses have no roofs.
Storm ceased at noon. Our village is like an island in the sea, I couldn’t have imagined how much it has changed. Some houses are gone and big trees are fallen across the road. The surrounding fields have become endless water.


Later I heard that three girls were lost in the storm. Some girls in neighbouring villages were also lost. Totally 130,000 people died in Nargis according to the news. Many houses were destroyed.


After such a terrible natural disaster, we have learnt so much. Over the last seven years we have been rebuilding our region, together with the government, NGOs, and our people. The experiences that we learnt from Nargis now can be used to help protect us from cyclones in the future.

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