New York, NY (BBN) – A senior United Nations official arrived in Burma, officially known as Myanmar, on Wednesday to help the Government devise measures to reduce the impact of natural disasters through early warning systems and other steps in a country.

“Myanmar is one of the most disaster-affected countries in Asia,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction Margareta Wahlström said in a statement issued ahead of her visit.

“It has been hit by six major cyclones in the last 40 years and is also vulnerable to multiple hazards such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and forest fires.

“I am looking forward to hearing how the responses to Cyclone Giri last year and the Shan State earthquake in March this year benefitted from the many lessons learned from Cyclone Nargis especially in early warning, preparedness and response.”

Giri, a category four cyclone, killed at least 45 people and affected 260,000 others when it struck Myanmar last October, and three months later UN humanitarian agencies reported that key challenges remained, including inadequate shelter, food insecurity and lack of livelihoods.

Ms. Wahlström is due to visit areas that were affected by Nargis.

BBN/SSR/AD-13Oct11-11:07 am (BST)