|A stretch of riverbank in Long Phuong Village in southern Dong Thap Province that has been eroded 40 metres inland by landslips caused by floods and high tides. Weather forecast must improve in the Mekong Delta for the region to better cope with floods and high tides. — VNA/VNS Nguyen Van Tri
HCM CITY - Weather forecasting must improve in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta so the region can better cope wth floods and high tides, experts have said.
Flood forecasting must be accurate and timely, especially in the context of climate change, they said.
Forecasting includes measurement, data collection, data-information transmission, report writing and dissemination of information.
Effective flood-forecasting can help reduce 30 per cent of losses caused by floods, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting. Many serious floods have occurred in the Mekong Delta this year, with the volume and level becoming more and more serious than in previous years, especially since the 2000-02 period.
Flood forecasting activities must be modified, and long-term plans for coping with floods needed to be carried out, the centre said.
According to the Southern Hydro-Meteorology Centre, most serious floods this year have been caused by an extremely large volume of rainfall in the middle of Laos and in lower Laos areas and the Central Highlands region. Thus, flood forecasting work must be focused on these areas.
Nguyen Ngoc Anh of the Southern Irrigation Planning Institute said that, unlike floods in previous years, floods this year occurred quickly, which made it difficult for some provinces in the Delta to cope.
Anh said the high tides and rising sea levels caused by climate change present even more obstacles to accurate flood forecasting.
Forecasting must take into account climate change in order to become more efficient and effective, he added.
According to a report from the Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment, inundated areas could reach 3,514,403 ha by 2050, accounting for 89 per cent of the total area of the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, an increase of 20 per cent compared to floods that hit a record-high in 2000.
The institute said the flood season would begin earlier each year and last longer than previous seasons.
This will result in serious damage to food and aquatic-product production and affect the area's ecology as well as people's livelihoods.
According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta suffers from many floods every year. Compared to previous years, the floods this year were of a more serious nature. — VNS