Natural disasters cause USD39-million in losses

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Vietnam suffered losses of VND868 billion (USD39 million) caused by natural disasters in the first half of this year, according to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control – Dtinews reports.

The committee on July 9 held a meeting to review natural disaster prevention and control in the first six months of this year.

The committee reported that between January and June, the country faced 14 kinds of natural disasters. Floods which happened in the northern mountainous region in June, leaving 23 dead and 10 others missing, alone accounted for up to VND500 million in losses.

At the meeting, Lai Chau Province People’s Committee deputy chairman Le Trong Quang said that it was important to provide people in areas which often face natural disasters with skills to live with unfavourable weather conditions.

Besides the systems for storm and flood prevention and control at different levels, he mentioned the necessity to establish task forces to warn the public of possible risks of natural disasters. This is aimed to deal with the on-site urgent problems when the rescue force can’t come timely, Quang added.

The National Centre for Hydro-meteorology Forecasting said that Vietnam would see eight to 10 storms this year, including four or five would affect the mainland directly.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said that more complicated natural disasters showed more serious consequences of climate change facing Vietnam.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam was one of the five countries most likely to be severely affected by climate change, with 21 types of natural disasters, especially storms, tropical depression, floods, flash floods, landslides, droughts, saline intrusion, and river bank and coastal erosion.

Around 400 people are killed or go missing in the country due to natural disasters annually. Natural disasters account for losses of 1%-1.5% GDP a year for the country.

By Nguyen Duong