Illustrative image (Source: Kyodo/VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Over 1,400 students of Binh Dong secondary school in Ho Chi Minh City have just joined drills of emergency evacuation in case of natural disasters such as tsunami and flood, according to the United Nations Development Programme.

The activities were organised under the “Schools of Son Tinh” campaign, launched by the General Department of Disaster Prevention and Control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, under the auspices of the Japan Government.

Vietnam is among the ten countries most vulnerable to natural disasters. It is therefore very meaningful for every student to know how to behave appropriately in the case of natural disasters, said Kazunori Hosoya, Deputy Consul-General of Japan to HCM City.

In 2017, the country was hit by 16 storms. More than four million people were affected by floods, mudslides and landslides caused by heavy winds and downpours. Thousands of houses were damaged, communities evacuated, and tens of thousands of hectares of crops were destroyed.

The “Schools of Son Tinh” campaign is part of the UNDP’s and Japan’s regional project “Strengthening School Preparedness for Tsunamis in the Asia-Pacific Region” in 18 Asia-Pacific countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

The project contributes to the achievement of the UN Sendai Framework’s targets to reduce lives lost, numbers of people affected, and economic damage from natural and human-induced hazards. It also aims to achieve the UNDP’s goal to help vulnerable regions to adapt to climate change by integrating disaster risk measures into national strategies.-VNA