Flood in HCM City (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – As one of the countries hardest hit by climate change, Vietnam has undertaken efforts to minimise risks from natural disasters and adapt to climate change, including issuing policies and developing infrastructure in recent years.

Efforts from the Party, the State and Government at all levels have helped reduce remarkable damage caused by natural disasters over the years.

According to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, the death and missing toll from 2011-2015 fell 53 percent, to an average of 226 persons per year from 478 persons between 2006-2010.

Natural disaster-related damages averaged 13.65 trillion VND (660 million USD) a year in the period, 32 percent lower than the annual average of 976 million USD in the previous five-year period.

The Government allocated over seven trillion VND (315 million USD) in aid and over 47,000 tonnes of rice to support affected localities.

High-risk localities have devised preventive measures, including running drills.

In the contest of increasingly severe and unpredictable natural disasters, experts have urged more long-term measures, including establishing a national coordination centre for preventing and responding to natural disasters and a warning system for natural disasters, including earth quakes.

More investment is needed for programmes on natural disaster prevention and control, particularly urgent projects and search and rescue work.

Communication work needs to be promoted to help the public understand the complicated development of climate change and new risks such as nuclear power.

Emergency funds should be set up to pay for the settlement of natural disaster consequences.

In 2015 alone, Vietnam experienced five storms and the worst drought in six decades along with severe saline intrusion.

As consequences, 154 people died or went missing and 127 others were injured, thousands of houses collapsed and millions of hectares of crops were damaged. Total estimated costs exceeded eight trillion VND (360 million USD).

In the first nine months of this year, natural disasters caused the deaths and missing of 125 people, and injured 266 others. Over 3.5 thousands houses collapsed or were swept away and hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops were damaged.-VNA