More than 1,100 households in the northwestern mountainous province of Lai Chau are residing in areas that are prone to natural calamities, such as Tan Uyen, Tam Duong and Sin Ho districts.

Since 2000, over 450 disasters occurred in the seven local districts, claiming the lives of 26 people, leaving 15 injured and destroying 350 houses. The total economic damage was estimated at over 130 billion VND (61 million USD).

Local authorities have directed the Steering Committees of Storm and Flood Prevention of all districts to warn locals of the risk of disasters, while using capital sources from national target programmes to cope with the issue.

Despite an annual average economic growth of 13 percent over the past decade, Lai Chau remains one of the most impoverished provinces in Vietnam, ranking eighth out of the 15 regional provinces in new-style rural area performance.

Its rate of poor households stood at 27.22 percent last year.

According to the World Bank, Vietnam is ranked as the seventh most exposed country in the world to multiple natural hazards including floods, tropical cyclones, tornados, landslides and droughts. About 60 percent of the total area of the country and 71 percent of the population are exposed to cyclones and floods.

In 2013, Vietnam was hit by no less than 15 tropical cyclones. Therefore, the Government has been taking disaster response preparation very seriously.-VNA