As many as 13 tropical storms will reach the East Sea with half of them likely to hit Vietnam, Bui Minh Tang, Director of the National Hydro Meteorological forecast centre.

During a meeting to review flood prevention and rescue activities in 2012, Tang warned that this year’s rainy season would see many dangerous developments.

He urged localities to take action to prevent strong storms, flash floods and landslides in the northern mountainous regions and Central Highlands.

Drought in the central and southern provinces will likely ease by the end of August, the director said.
Four of the 10 storms that hit the East Sea last year caused severe consequences to Vietnamese people and property, according to the National Steering Committee for Flood and Storms Prevention and Control.
Natural disasters resulted in 258 people dead and missing and wounded 408 others. Economic loses reached about 16 trillion VND (762 million USD).

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat, who is also the Head of the National Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control, asked relevant agencies and localities to ensure that rescue equipment was available and that enterprises and households were aware of contingency plans for floods.

Irrigation projects such as dykes and reservoirs, in addition to electricity and communication systems, must also be strengthened before the rainy season came, Phat said.-VNA