A warning sign for an erosion site in Tan Phu Thanh commune of Chau Thanh A district, the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - More effective plans for natural disaster prevention are needed in the Mekong Delta, which plays an important role in the economy, but is threatened by natural disasters, climate change and landslides, Nguyen Truong Son, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority, said in Can Tho city on July 29.

In the first six months of the year, heavy rains flooded many regions in the country, causing significant loss of life and property, he said at the “Prevention of Disaster in Southern Provinces” seminar.

Nguyen Hiep of the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority said the agency in the last six months of this year would work with southern cities and provinces to set up a disaster-prevention and relocation plan for households living in coastal areas.

Local authorities would be tasked to check areas facing a high risk of landslides and move residents to safe places, while workers will be assigned to guard roads at risk of being inundated by water, he said.

In the first half of the year, 75 people were killed or missing while 48 others were injured during natural disasters. Total economic damages reached 868.5 billion VND (37.73 million USD), according to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.

A total of 14 kinds of natural disasters occurred in the country during the period, including two typhoons, two tropical depressions, 88 thunderstorms, seven flash floods, numerous landslides, seven strong wind spells overseas, and four extreme cold spells, among others.

In total, 509 houses were destroyed, while another 12,571 were damaged. Fifteen thousand hectares of rice and 1,700 ha of industrial plantations also suffered damage, while nearly 9,000 fowl and 17,000 cattle were killed due to natural disasters.

In the remaining half of the year, Vietnam can expect 12-13 typhoons, with at least four or five making landfall, according to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

Last year, 16 storms and six tropical depressions formed in the East Sea. Of the number, five storms and three tropical depressions hit Vietnam.

Severe disasters resulted in 386 people dead and missing, 122 more people than in 2016, and 86 more than the average number of the past decade.

Economic losses amounted to 60 trillion VND (2.6 billion USD), a 30 percent increase compared with 2016, and 2.5 times higher than the average of the past decade.-VNS/VNA