Localities asked to brace for upcoming storms, support flood-hit people hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung (standing) speaks at the meeting on October 21 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung on October 21 asked localities to focus on supporting flood-hit people in the central and north-central regions, especially Quang Binh and Ha Tinh provinces, and on designing plans to prepare for and respond to upcoming storms so as to ensure life and property.

At a conference in Hanoi on responding to storms and flooding in the central region, the Deputy PM noted that imminent Typhoon Saudel, the eighth to have formed in the East Sea this year, is forecast to have a devastating impact on the region.

The official, who is also head of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, has asked the Border Guard High Command to coordinate with the Directorate of Fisheries and localities to keep a close eye on the development of the storm to keep vessels at sea informed.

Localities forecast to be hit should prepare suitable response plans, focusing on evacuating people from risky areas, he requested.

He asked that special attention be given to the safety of dams and reservoirs as well as traffic safety and order, along with measures to protect agricultural production and tourism activities and prevent environmental pollution and the spread of COVID-19.

The Deputy PM assigned the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to provide each flood-hit locality with five tonnes of sausage. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment should direct the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting to provide updated information on the storm’s developments as well as timely alerts. At the same time, the Ministry of Information and Communications should update the public on the storm’s movement via text message, while media agencies should regularly provide the public with guidelines on disaster prevention and mitigation. Working groups will be formed and sent to hard-hit areas.

The Director of the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, Mai Van Khiem, said Storm Saudel formed in the East Sea on the night of October 20. It is heading towards central localities and is likely to be at its worst from the night of October 24 to October 25.

According to a report from the Office of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, as of 7 am on October 21, flooding that began on October 6 had killed 111 people and left 22 missing. Some 371 ha of rice paddies have been submerged, 7,126 ha of crops damaged, and over 700,000 heads of cattle and poultry killed or swept away./.