Firefighters stamp out a forest fire in Lệ Thủy District, central province of Quảng Bình on June 3. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Two more heatwaves are set to hit northern and north-central provinces from now until August, a top meteorologist has said.
Speaking at a national online meeting on natural disasters prevention and control yesterday, Trần Hồng Thái, director-general of the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said intense heat would mostly hit the northern provinces in June and July, while the central region would experience intense heat from June to August.
Some areas would have temperatures reaching up to 41-42 degrees Celsius, Thái said.
From May 28 to June 3, northern provinces and north-central provinces from Thanh Hóa to Phú Yên experienced a heatwave with daytime temperatures reaching 37-40 degree Celsius.
Some areas suffered higher temperatures including Chí Linh in Hải Dương Province (41 degrees Celsius), Hà Nội (40.5 degrees Celsius) and Tĩnh Gia in Thanh Hóa Province (41.9 degrees Celsius), Thái said, adding that the heatwave would be among the most severe this year.
In addition, about 12-14 storms and tropical pressures were expected to activate in the East Sea this year, with five to seven storms/tropical pressures to hit mainland Việt Nam, Thái said.
The first storm named Choi-Wan was reported to enter the East Sea on Thursday but it would not reach mainland Việt Nam, he said.
This year, the rainy season was expected to start and end earlier than in previous years. Heavy rains would be seen in October and November in central provinces.
Việt Nam can now deliver warnings five days prior to storms, three days prior to tropical pressures and two or three days prior to heavy rains with an accuracy of more than 75 per cent, according to Thái.
The country’s hydrometeorology sector could give warnings 24-48 hours prior to floods, while some historically bad floods were forecast 12-48 hours before they hit.
“Due to technological limitations, we are now unable to forecast flash floods and landslides but only warn about their risks in certain areas,” Thái said, calling for resources to map out areas with different levels of flash flood/landslide threats.
Trần Quang Hoài, vice chairman of Central Steering Committee for Natural Disasters Prevention and Control, said last year, natural disasters were intensive and especially fierce, exceeding historical levels in many regions of the country.
Sixteen out of 22 types of natural disasters occurred last year in Việt Nam, including 14 storms, one tropical depression, 265 thunder and lightning storms, 120 flash floods and landslides, 90 earthquakes, drought, severe saltwater intrusion, riverbank and coastal erosion, and sea dyke subsidence.
In 2020, natural disasters left 357 people dead or missing, with total economic losses of nearly VND40 trillion (more than US$1.72 billion).
Chairing the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Lê Văn Thành asked ministries, agencies and localities to try their best to minimise damage caused by natural disasters.
Human safety must be given the highest priority, he said.
Besides contributions that the Party, State, Government, organisations and individuals have made to natural disaster prevention and control as well as search, rescue and relief activities, there remained challenges and shortcomings, Thành said.
“As natural disasters tended to be more severe, unpredicted, happening in large areas and last for a long period of time, more investment in humans, mechanisms and facilities is a must for us to prevent and control them actively and effectively,” Thành said.
He emphasised the role of forecasting and warning activities and the role of leadership.
“Leaders must closely oversee and timely direct, make use of available resources to deal with natural disasters,” Thành said. VNS