Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs a meeting on August 23 on housing assistance for people affected by flash floods and landslides (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on August 23 chaired a meeting on housing assistance for people affected by flash floods and landslides nationwide, stressing that helping the victims to rebuild houses is an urgent task.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that natural disasters have been very serious in recent years when flash floods, landslides and riverbank and coastal erosion have increased, causing heavy human and property losses.

In 2017, particularly severe flash floods and landslides occurred in Muong La district (northern Son La province); Mu Cang Chai district (northern Yen Bai province); Tan Lac and Da Bac districts and Hoa Binh city (northern Hoa Binh province); Bac Tra My and Nam Tra My districts (central Quang Nam province); and Cho Moi district (the Mekong Delta province of An Giang). More than 4,100 houses collapsed or washed away due to natural disasters while almost 13,250 households are residing in landslide-prone areas.

Since the beginning of 2018, over 1,000 houses have collapsed or been washed away as a result of flash floods and landslides.

The affected provinces have mobilised resources to address those consequences, but this is only a temporary solution. Their reports show that there are nearly 5,600 families without houses or having to live in makeshift houses at present. Meanwhile, over 42,100 others are living in highly vulnerable areas and need to be evacuated.

Basing on the localities’ proposals, the agriculture ministry asked the PM to approve 839 billion VND (nearly 36 million USD) in emergency aid, including 391 billion VND (16.8 million USD) for rebuilding houses and 447 billion VND (19.2 million USD) for reconstructing essential infrastructure facilities.

Statistics show that among the 18 provinces and cities in need of this support, northern Yen Bai province needs the biggest relief, 204 billion VND (8.7 million USD), for recovery efforts.

At the meeting, officials said prolonged heavy rains and the rapid rise of water level in a short period of time are among the main causes of landslides and flash floods. Therefore, emergency financial aid is critical to helping victims rebuild houses and stabilise their life.

PM Phuc said central agencies and local authorities need to swiftly decide on necessary solutions and actively evacuate and assist affected residents. 

He asked them to make use of different resources to help victims rebuild houses, noting that support should vary according to the damage each family suffers from so as to ensure fairness.

The agriculture ministry and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment were requested to promptly finalise and submit an evacuation plan for people in disaster-hit areas to the PM. Meanwhile, ministries, sectors and localities have to actively coordinate with other forces in natural disaster prevention and control, the Government leader said.-VNA