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Oct 01, 2022 / 19:56

Prime Minister urges proactive response to natural disasters

The Ministry of Health is tasked to take charge of environmental sanitation and disease prevention during and after floods.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has requested state agencies and localities to focus on overcoming the consequences of typhoon Noru, the fourth hitting Vietnam this year, and proactively respond to natural disasters in the coming months.

The request was made in a Dispatch dated September 30 shortly after super typhoon Noru, which caused heavy rains, floods and landslides in Vietnam's central region and Central Highlands, seven deaths in Nghe An Province, 62 people injured in Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam provinces. In addition, about 160 houses were destroyed and more than 3,300  damaged. More than 7,300 houses in Nghe An are still flooded after three days of heavy rains.

The tornado tore off the roof and damaged 150 stalls of small businesses at Cua Viet Market in Vietnam's central province of Quang Tri. Photo: Minh Tan/ The Hanoi Times

Some 5,300 ha of crops and 3,000 ha of aquaculture have been submerged. Thousands of livestock and poultry also died in the floods and many stretches of road were swept away after Noru moved toward Laos and weakened into a tropical depression.

In the dispatch, PM Chinh requested the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, agencies, and localities to focus on prevention and response to minimize damage caused by natural disasters, ensure safety of people, curtail property losses, implement search and rescue missions, and provide aid and shelters to victims and the needy.

The dispatch has tasked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment with closely monitoring the evolution of rain and floods and the Ministry of Transport with ensuring traffic safety and tackling landslides.

The Ministry of Health must take charge of environmental sanitation and disease prevention during and after floods, while the Ministries of Defense and Public Security have been requested to focus on evacuation, search and rescue activities.

According to the National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting (NCHMF), Vietnam could face more severe storms and depressions during the rest of this year.

NCHMF deputy director Hoang Phuc Lam said the La Niña weather phenomenon will continue from now until the end of the year and natural disasters are likely to be more severe, in the third consecutive year that Vietnam is facing La Niña.

"The central region of Vietnam would be the most affected by the heavy rains from October to November, which would cause serious flooding," Lam said, expressing concern about the risk of successive torrential rains and floods similar to those of previous years.

Statistics show that in the last 40 years, of a total of 374 storms in the East Sea (referred to as the South China Sea), 148 affected Vietnam’s mainland, with 94 storms landing in the central region (accounting for over 64%), mainly between September and November.

Because its river system is dense, short in length, narrow in channel, very steep and fast-flowing, the central region frequently suffers from flooding. These types of natural disasters cause great damage to the region and are becoming increasingly severe.