Sunday, September 15 2019

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Workshop told how technology can help cope with natural disasters

Update: August, 19/2019 - 09:00
A flood in Bình Phước Province. In August along, more than 30 people were killed or are still missing after floods countrywide.— VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Technology and science is key to coping with future natural disasters.

That was the message heard during a workshop in Hà Nội on Friday organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.

In August along, more than 30 people were killed or are still missing after floods countrywide.

Statistics show natural disasters killed 218 people last year, causing VNĐ20 trillion (US$863 million) worth of damage. In 2017, natural disasters killed 386 people resulting in VNĐ60 trillion ($2.58 billion) worth of  damage.

Speaking at the workshop, Minister Nguyễn Xuân Cường said that it required participation of not only experts and scientists but also the private sector to apply science and technology to cope with natural disasters.

"We need solutions from diverse groups that took advantage of human achievements in science and technology," he said.

Science and technology should focus on activities of forecasting, early warning systems, coping with the problems, remedying and re-constructing, he said.

Cường said this would minimise damages that natural disasters cause to both human lives and property.

It was also important because Việt Nam was listed among five countries suffering the most from climate change and because the country recorded extreme weather phenomenon that hardly affected to the nation’s socio-economic development in recent years, he said.

It is estimated that natural disasters caused a loss of 1-1.5 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) each year during the past two decades.

Đặng Quang Minh, acting director of the National Disaster Management Department under the Việt Nam Disaster Management Authority, said the authority was concentrating on applying science and technology to raise public awareness of natural disaster prevention.

He cited using Facebook social to disseminate the importance of natural disaster prevention and running an e-learning system to train staff as examples.

The authority was also making video clips using 3D graphics to introduce people how to prevent and cope better, he said.

Đoàn Thị Tuyết Nga, head of the Science, Technology and International Relations Department under the authority, suggested authorised agencies build databases on dykes, landslides and floods.

Also at the workshop, participants discussed and shared experiences of issues related to a pilot system for early warning of flash floods in the northern mountainous provinces of Lào Cai and Yên Bái, technology to manage dykes and treat coastal erosion in the Mekong Delta. — VNS

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