Minister urges synchronous measures to deal with natural disasters hinh anh 1A house is flooded in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong has asked relevant agencies to take synchronous measures to deal with possible natural disasters.

At a meeting of the Central Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention and Control in Hanoi on July 9 to review its first-half work, Cuong, who is also head of the committee, emphasised the need to implement the Government’s Resolution 76/NQ-CP dated June 18, 2018 on natural disaster prevention and Resolution 120/NQ-CP dated November 17, 2017 on sustainable development of the Mekong River Delta in adaptation to climate change, and other documents.

The National Centre for Hydrometeorological Forecasting should pay special attention to forecasting and warning work, promptly providing weather forecast bulletins for agencies at all levels, as well asdevise plans and measures to improve forecasting capacity and infrastructure, he said.

The centre was urged to closely coordinate with international hydro-meteorological organisations, ministries, agencies, localities and press agencies in natural disaster response.

He also asked cities and provinces to make plans on repairing and upgrading reservoirs and prioritise the participation of private businesses in disaster prevention, especially those applying technology.

As heard at the meeting, 75 people have been killed or remained missing while 48 others suffered injuries due to natural disasters in the first six months of 2018.

Total economic losses reached 868.5 billion VND (37.73 million USD).

According to the committee’s report, a total of 14 types of natural disasters have occurred in the country, including two typhoons, two tropical depressions, 88 thunderstorms, seven flash floods and landslides, seven strong wind spells over the seas, four extreme cold spells and others.

In total, 509 houses have been destroyed while another 12,571 sustained damage.

As many as 15,000 hectares of rice and 1,700 hectares of industrial plantation also suffered damage, while nearly 9,000 fowls and 17,000 cattle were killed due to natural disasters.

Minister Cuong said that the weather events in the first half of the year were abnormally extreme compared to the average statistics in the last 20 years, citing the “rare cases” of record rainfall in the northern region in June and 40-41 Celsius degree heat wave in the northern and central region in recent weeks.

According to the National Centre for Hydrometeorological Forecasting, in the remaining half of 2018, Vietnam may face 12-13 typhoons, with at least four or five making landfall.

Several households across the country are still unable to move to their settlement domiciles, as the country is still reeling from the impacts of natural disasters last year and in first half of 2018.

Tran Quang Hoai, permanent member of the committee, requested that all concerned parties follow the Government’s orders on natural disaster prevention and alleviation, which would see a focus on upgrading forecasting infrastructure and warning systems for those in high-risk areas.

Multiple-platform communications, including social media sites like Facebook, in addition to conventional methods like public speakers, TV, radio and websites will also be promoted to make sure that the public is aware of incoming threats in a timely manner.-VNA