Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the conference (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has emphasised the Government’s consistent view of building a society safe from natural disasters mainly based on risk control and prevention at a conference on June 20 reviewing natural disaster control and search and rescue work in 2018.

The Government leader highlighted the good points in the natural disaster control work last year, particularly the regularly and timely provision of information on disaster forecast and warning, as well on measures to cope with and overcome consequences of natural disasters. Communication activities related to natural disasters targeting the public have been intensified and improved through the combination of modern means (the media, social networks, SMS) and traditional ones (loudspeakers, gongs and drums).

PM Phuc also acknowledged the good work in evacuating residents from dangerous areas, searching for and rescuing victims, providing reliefs to victims and preventing diseases after natural disasters.

Regarding limitations, the PM noted the gaps and outdated rules in the system of legal documents, mechanisms and technical standards in the field of natural disaster control. Funding for overcoming natural disaster’s consequences has not been used effectively, while the private sector has not engaged actively in natural disaster prevention work.

He particularly pointed to forecast work which had failed to meet requirements in the context of increasing and complicated natural disasters, and urged efforts to improve the work.

PM Phuc also instructed relevant ministries and agencies to continue refining institutions, policies and legal documents in the fields of natural disaster control, dyke management, post-disaster reconstruction and relief, and the fund for natural disaster work.

He required that resources be concentrated on natural disaster control, adding that priority should be given to projects on upgrading sea and river dykes, ensuring reservoir safety, and addressing erosion along rivers and sea shore in the Mekong Delta and the central region.

Reports at the conference said 224 persons died or went missing due to natural disasters in 2018, while economic losses amounting to nearly 20 trillion VND (858.87 million USD).

Since the beginning of 2019 to present, natural 23 persons died or went missing in natural disasters, and economic losses were estimated at over 337 billion VND.

Weather forecast said there would be fewer storms on the East Sea in the second half of this year compared to a normal year, with 10-12 storms to sweep across the East Sea, and 4-5 of which to land in Vietnam. The dry season may last until August or September in the central and south central coastal, posing a high risk of drought and saltwater intrusion. The flood level in the Mekong Delta this year is said to be lower than the average.-VNA