Natural disasters cause economic losses of over 215 million USD this year hinh anh 1More than 400 houses in Quang Binh are inundated in floodwater (Illustrative photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Economic losses caused by natural disasters in Vietnam this year to September 27 had amounted to 5 trillion VND (over 215 million USD), it was reported at a meeting held in the central province of Quang Binh on October 8.

The meeting, which was organized in response to the International Day for Disaster Reduction, also heard that natural disasters also caused the death or missing of 98 people in the period.

Since the beginning of this year, Vietnam has been hit by 248 thunderstorms, whirlwinds and torrential rains; five tropical storms on the East Sea; 13 flash floods and 68 earthquakes, not to mention serious saline intrusion and erosion along river banks and sea dykes in the Mekong Delta.

Addressing the meeting, Vice Chairman and General Secretary of the Vietnam Red Cross (VRC) Nguyen Hai Anh said the VRC always considers natural disaster response one of its key strategic missions. The VRC has dedicated most of its resources to the work, he said.

According to Anh, the VRC has promoted communication campaigns to educate its chapters and the public in how to prevent and respond to natural disasters. The association also participates in the evacuation of people, search and rescue work and aid provision during times of disasters.

Last year, the VRC distributed aid worth more than 118 billion VND to disaster victims. The aid it provided so far this year has amounted to 136 billion VND./.