Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung speaks at the conference (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung asked for improvements to be made nationwide in building plans to respond to incidents and disasters, including search and rescue activities, at a conference in Hanoi on July 20.

A report delivered at the conference revealed that since the beginning of 2017, authorised forces have saved 5,438 people and 358 vehicles. More than 3.1 million people on over 744,000 vessels operating at sea have been informed of dangerous weather situations to seek shelter, while nearly 107,900 households were evacuated from dangerous areas.

Deputy PM Dung, who is head of the State Committee for Incidents and Disaster Response, and Search and Rescue, said that the reviewed period witnessed complicated developments in weather, climate change, disasters, and incidents, causing serious and fatal damages. Most recently, floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains in the northern mountainous provinces during June 23-26 left over 40 dead, missing, or injured, while four were swept away by floods in Lang Chanh district, the central province of Thanh Hoa, on July 19.

In addition, many fires and explosions have happened, causing serious impacts, including a fire at the apartment complex Carina Plaza in Ho Chi Minh City which killed 13 people and a blaze at Hai Ha 18 oil tanker in Hai Phong city.

“Those incidents and disasters require us to take responsibility for reducing losses and intensifying response measures. Minimising human and asset losses are the core task of the work, contributing to ensuring the continuation of socio-economic development,” Dung stressed.

The leader said that in the remaining months of 2018, the weather and climate situation is likely to be complex with unpredictable developments.

He asked ministries, sectors, and localities to keep a close watch on rain and flood developments after storm Son Tinh, the third of its kind to hit the East Sea; as well as flood developments in the east, southern, and Mekong Delta regions; and other areas prone to landslides and flashfloods so as to promptly evacuate locals from dangerous areas.
The Deputy PM required the State Committee for Incident, Disaster Response, and Search and Rescue and the Central Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention and Control to set up inspection delegations to inspect localities’ preparations for disaster response, including measures to ensure residents’ safety, protect dykes, dams, and reservoirs.

It is necessary to step up communications with and heighten the responsibility of leaders at all levels for disaster and incident response, including search and rescue missions, and increase the efficiency of forecasting work and preventive measures to minimise tragic losses.

Localities should take initiative in carrying out plans to respond to strong storms and typhoons, widespread downpours, floods, landslides, earthquakes, and tsunamis based on the likelihood of their geographic area, he suggested.

He also required localities and authorised forces to pay attention to measures on explosion response and intensify inspections to ensure traffic safety.

Boosting international cooperation is also important, he said, stressing the necessity to improve the quality of human resources, apply technology in responding to incidents and disasters and in search and rescue, and participate in bilateral and multilateral drills. -VNA