A tropical cyclone has hit Burma's Arakan State and has been upgraded to a “Category II” cyclone, Myanmar Climate Change Watch has said.

Cyclone Giri, which formed over the Bay of Bengal in the Indian Ocean, has reached a “very destructive stage” with winds of up to 120 km per hour, and is due to hit Kyaukphyu, a major town in Arakan State, by 3 p.m. local time.

Read more: Cyclone Giri Hits Arakan State


NAY PYI TAW, Oct. 16, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- Myanmar Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation U Htay Oo said on Saturday that the country's rice supply in general exceeds local demand as a whole.

Htay Oo made the remarks at the World Food Day commemorative ceremony held in the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw.

Of Myanmar's 23 million hectares' total areas of farmland, 8 million hectares are put under paddy, producing 20 million tons of rice, he said.

"In Myanmar, rice production is still increasing faster than demand contributing not only for local consumption but also for world food supply," he noted, adding that programs for food security were carried out regionwise, but some states and regions have yet to try to meet their rice sufficiency level.

Read more: Myanmar's rice supply exceeds local demand


CLIMATE change could be behind the recent migration of rats in Bago Division, a weather expert said at a recent seminar in Yangon.

Beginning in late June, thousands of black rats (Rattus rattus) began migrating from jungles in Bago Division to areas near human settlements, consuming paddy and other crops. Residents in affected regions said it was the first time they had seen the black rat in such prodigious numbers.

Dr Tun Lwin, a former director general of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, said he believed the rat migration was the result of a lack of rain in the early monsoon period and reflected a long-term trend of changing monsoon patterns.

Read more: Late monsoon could have triggered rat swarm: expert


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