Competent agencies should review their precautionary work to better respond to natural disasters, which have killed 98 people, and caused damage totaling nearly US$243 million in Vietnam in the past eight months, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has said.
The vice premier offered the advice while speaking during an online conference on Monday to sum up government bodies’ responses to natural calamities in the first eight months of 2015 and discuss new steps for the coming time.
Regarding the hot weather and drought that often strike provinces and cities in the central region, the Ministry of Industry and Trade must direct the management of reservoirs to discharge water to rivers and streams to provide the natural resource for local activities, and repair and upgrade water supply systems to ease water shortage, the deputy premier said.
Officials in those localities that are often hit by storms must devise effective precautionary measures – including shelter for boats and food for storm victims – to better cope with them and mitigate possible damage, he added.
Deputy PM Hai requested that agencies concerned closely monitor the development of the climate and weather, especially the El Nino phenomenon, which refers to the warming of the central to eastern tropical Pacific that occurs every two to seven years on average.
Authorities at all levels must actively implement the Law on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control and disseminate it to residents, the official said.
Local governments should re-check the list of areas prone to natural disasters and prepare plans for evacuating or relocating residents to safe places when necessary.
He also emphasized the need to improve natural disaster forecasts to contribute to the facilitation of responses to calamities.
Since early this year, drought, downpours, flash floods, landslides, vortexes, and lightning have inflicted severe damage on life and property in many localities in the country, according to the Central Steering Board for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.
Over the past eight months, natural disasters have killed 98 victims, injured 18 others, and caused 112 people to go missing nationwide, the board said.
In addition, the calamities in the period also destroyed more than 1,100 houses and ravaged 13,700 others, ruining large areas of crops and devastating a lot of roads, dyke systems, irrigation works and other infrastructural components.
The total value of these losses amounted to VND5,465 billion ($242.9 million), the board said.
From now to the end of this year, six or seven storms may brew up in the East Vietnam Sea and two or three of them will likely strike the country, the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting told the conference.