Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Thursday called for prompt measures to support rebuilding efforts in disaster-hit provinces.— VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Chiến
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Thursday called for prompt measures to support rebuilding efforts in disaster-hit provinces.
Meeting in Hà Nội with officials from the four provinces hit hard by recent floods and landslides, he also stressed the need to review disaster response activities, from forecasting to recovery, so that lessons can be drawn for the future.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), heavy rains and floods on August 2-3 and October 9-10 in Thanh Hóa, Hòa Bình, Yên Bái and Sơn La left 91 people dead or missing and 356 houses completely damaged or lost. It estimated total property losses at over VNĐ8.5 trillion (US$377.7 million).
Meanwhile, torrential rains from October 9-12 in Nghệ An Province and some northwestern provinces resulted in devastating floods and forced the Hòa Bình reservoir to open eight floodgates for the first time.
Water levels in the Hoàng Long River in Ninh Bình Province and Cầu Chày River in Thanh Hóa exceeded previous records by 20-30cm, causing significant overflow that damaged 252 dyke sections.
Serious landslides also affected mountainous localities, especially Tân Lạc, Đà Bắc, Kim Bôi districts and Hòa Bình City.
Since early this year, natural disasters have left 245 people dead and missing, destroyed 4,600 houses and seriously damaged more than 102,000 others across the country. The property loss has been estimated at VNĐ36.5 trillion ($1.62 billion).
The agriculture ministry said that geographical location and deforestation were major reasons behind the heavy downpours and flooding in the northern mountainous region. Poor forecasting capacity had worsened the situation, it said.
It proposed that the Prime Minister facilitates urgent investment in disaster-hit localities to fix and strengthen dykes, improve resilience of other public works and improve forecasting capacity of local meteorologists.
Deputy PM Trịnh Đình Dũng also said that preventive measures in all flash flood prone areas have to be reviewed and solutions identified for smooth operation of dams and reservoirs.
Referring to recovery efforts, PM Phúc said that along with cutting interest rates and rescheduling loans, localities should pay special attention to the winter-spring rice crop, saying its productivity assumed greater importance given its proximity to the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday.
He asked the agriculture ministry to provide rice varieties to flood-hit communities, and directed relevant agencies to ensure smooth transportation and supply of power, especially in northern mountainous provinces.
He also asked the localities to specify the help they needed to quickly overcome consequences of the disasters and stabilise locals’ lives.
He agreed with the ministry’s suggestion that a national conference on natural disaster prevention and control be organised in December this year. — VNS