Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called on people to stay vigilant and play a more active role in response to natural disasters. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on October 30 conveyed a message to mark the 20th year of devastating Typhoon Linda – the worst to strike the Mekong Delta in 100 years, in which he called on people to stay vigilant and play a more active role in response to natural disasters.

The powerful, unexpected and unusual Typhoon No.5, also known as Linda, tore through the Mekong Delta, rarely hit by storms, during the night of November 2, 1997, PM Phuc said in the message.

The typhoon caused heavy losses of life and severe property damages, especially for Ca Mau province, he recalled, adding that thousands of fishermen and boats sank at sea while many houses and regional infrastructure were destroyed.

Two decades later, the pain of families who lost kith and kin in the storm is still there and on behalf of the government, Phuc extends his deepest condolences and sympathies to all affected people. He also acknowledges the efforts made by soldiers and disaster response forces in providing relief to the victims.

The PM went on to say that natural disasters have become much more complicated and hard to be predicted in recent years while climate change impacts, forest degradation in coastal protected areas, erosion and sea level rise are among factors increasing vulnerability when natural disasters hit the delta.

“As lessons learnt from Typhoon Linda, I call on people, soldiers and disaster response forces nationwide, including from the Mekong Delta, to be vigilant, get prepared for and proactive in response to natural disasters so as to minimize losses,” he wrote.

Natural disasters in Vietnam have killed hundreds of people and destroyed thousands of houses, causing an economic loss of over 35 trillion VND (1.54 billion USD) since the beginning of this year.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, heavy rains and floods on August 2-3 and October 9-10 in Thanh Hoa, Hoa Binh, Yen Bai and Son La provinces left 91 people dead or missing and 356 houses completely damaged or lost. It estimated total property losses at over 8.5 trillion VND (377.7 million USD).-VNA