Better forecasts and better emergency action was needed to mitigate the effects of climate change, said Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai.
He told a video conference yesterday that an estimated 50 people died each year in flash floods and landslides in Viet Nam.
Since 2000, mountainous provinces across Viet Nam had been hit by 250 flash floods and landslides, which left 646 dead and missing, and injured about 350 more.
The disasters also damaged more than 109,700 houses, submerged 75,000ha of rice and crops and destroyed many traffic and irrigation works, causing a total estimated loss of VND3.3 trillion (US$157 million).
An initial survey by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in 10 mountainous provinces found that up to 35 per cent of the land, particularly in Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Son La, Yen Bai and Nghe An, was vulnerable to landslides during the rainy season.
|Better forecasts and better emergency action was needed to mitigate the effects of climate change, said Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai.|
“Although many preventive measures were taken, we still failed to control the number of deaths and the amount of losses caused by natural disasters, Hai said.
Stepping up communication work was one of the most important measures to reduce damage in mountainous areas, he said.
The deputy PM also urged localities to draw up maps of areas at high risk of flash floods and landslides and create response plans for residents, such as evacuating dangerous areas and building disaster observation and early warning stations.
They should also pay attention to promoting scientific research on early warning of natural disasters and keeping up with afforestation and forest protection.
Representatives from mountain communities listed many shortcomings in the work, especially poor awareness by residents, lax examination and supervision by authorities, and difficulties in relocating people in danger areas.
|Residents in Dien Bien Province use timber as a bridge to cross a stream after a road was washed away by floods. Better forecasts and emergency action are needed to mitigate the effects of climate change, said Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai. — VNA/VNS Photo Chu Quoc Hung|
People’s Committee vice-chairman of Lai Chau Province, Le Trong Quang, said low awareness was a key reason for the high rate of losses. He emphasised the importance of increasing communication work.
Vice-chairman of Ha Giang’s People’s Committee, Nguyen Minh Tien, pointed to the need to build flood warning and observation systems.
He also proposed relocating people living in areas prone to flood and landslides and encouraging people to plant and protect forests to help mitigate impacts of natural disasters.
Provinces that have been regularly hit by flash floods and landslides include Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Lai Chau, Son La, Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Yen Bai in the north, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Nam, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Binh Thuan in the central region.