HA NOI— More strong storms and tropical depressions were forecast to hit the country this year, said Bui Minh Tang, director of the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
Thick fog covered Ha Noi on Monday morning preventing planes from landing and taking off. Dozens of flights were delayed before 9.30am causing losses of hundreds of millions of dong for the airlines.
Thick fog is forecast to cover northern provinces over the next three days.
According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, the fog was caused by the temperature differential between daytime and nightime.
Health experts warned that the fog would make visibility poor and affect people's health if they did not wear face masks and warm clothes.
He said around seven strong storms were expected to form in the East Sea starting from May, causing heavy rains and serious flooding.
The drought was forecast to be less harsh than usual, and would only affect the Central Highlands and coastal central provinces, he said.
Based on this forecast, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked relevant agencies to implement storm and flood prevention and control measures and the national strategy on natural disaster prevention and mitigation while reviewing and inspecting land usage and living conditions of residents in localities vulnerable to flooding.
Cities, especially Ha Noi and HCM City, had been entrusted to work out specific plans to cope with heavy flooding and high tides to minimise risks and losses, he said.
He also asked authorities to inspect dykes, reservoirs and irrigation systems and invest in forecasting equipment and rescue facilities.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, last year, four storms formed in the East Sea directly affecting northern and central provinces and resulting in the deaths of 295 people, injuring 274 others and destroying more than 450,000 houses. Losses were estimated at VND12.7 trillion (US$604.7 million). — VNS