Prime Minister instructs high alert against flash floods, landslide hinh anh 1Lai Chau province suffered the heaviest losses in humans due to flash floods and landslide last month. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Prime Minister has issued Directive 19/CT-TTg on preventive measures against flash floods and landslides, which have happened frequently recently in the northern and north central regions.

The directive noted that the recent natural disasters in Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Son La, Lai Chau, Hoa Binh and Nghe An have caused great losses in both human lives and property, due to limited capacity in forecast and warning work as well as poor resistance capacity of local infrastructure. 

To be better prepared for flash floods and landslides, thus mitigating losses, the PM orders the Central Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Control, the National Committee for Search and Rescue, ministries, sectors and local administrations to strictly carry out the Government’s Resolution 76/NQ-CP dated June 18, 2018 on natural prevention and control.

Accordingly, the Chairpersons of People’s Committees of provinces and centrally-run cities are to allocate resources from the local budget, the fund for natural disaster control and other legal sources to help local people settle the consequences caused by flash floods and landslides in late 2017 and early 2018. The focus should be on repairing houses and damaged transport, irrigation, medical and educational facilities, and helping affected people settle down in safe areas.

The directive noted that when rebuilding, schools should be ensured to be resistant to natural disasters so that they can serve as shelter for residents in surrounding areas in emergency.

Local administrations should inspect and define areas of high risk to flash floods and landslides, and put up warning signs to inform every hamlet, household, public facility, especially school and clinic.  

The PM also demands strict management of mining activities to prevent landslide or mine collapse at time of rains or floods. Measures should be taken to limit activities that can increase the risk of flash flood and landslide such as digging into mountains to build houses.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is asked to review safety work at irrigation dams and preparations to respond to emergencies at dams, especially those of medium and small sizes managed by local administrations.

The Defence Ministry and Ministry of Public Security are required to get plans and forces ready to assist with response to natural disasters, particularly in evacuating people and assets, conducting search and rescue, delivering relief and aid, and ensuring security and social order, safety in any situation.

The Transport Ministry is instructed to prepare adequate human resources, vehicles and materials in order to timely respond to transport breakdown caused by natural disasters.

Last month alone, 22 people died and nine others went missing due to flash floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains in northern mountainous provinces.

Lai Chau province suffered the heaviest losses in humans with 16 residents being killed, followed by Ha Giang, with five dead persons and Quang Ninh with one deceased victim, reported the Standing Office of the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control on June 27.

Total damage was estimated at 457.8 billion VND (around 19.5 million USD), including 122 billion VND in Ha Giang, 314 billion VND in Lai Chau and the remainder in neighbouring provinces.-VNA