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Victims of Typhoon Durian will receive Government aid: PM

Update: December, 08/2006 - 00:00

Victims of Typhoon Durian will receive Government aid: PM

(08-12-2006)

National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong and NA Office staff donate money to the Typhoon Durian victims. — VNA/VNS PhotoTri Dung

Soldiers help residents repair houses damaged by Typhoon Durian in Binh Thang Commune, Binh Dai District, Ben Tre Province. The typhoon has so far claimed 62 lives, left 19 missing and over 1,000 injured, after hitting Viet Nam’s southern coast. — VNA/VNS Photo Trang Duong

HCM CITY — The Government has set aside VND150 billion (US$9.4 million) from the central budget, to help victims of the devastating Typhoon Durian to rebuild their lives, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in HCM City yesterday.

The typhoon has so far claimed 62 lives, left 19 missing and over 1,000 injured, after smashing into the southern coast of Viet Nam earlier this week.

Economic losses from collapsed houses and sunken ships are estimated to reach VND5.2 trillion ($325 million), according to the Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Control.

Dung was in HCM City yesterday, to chair an emergency meeting to discuss measures to help typhoon-stricken localities overcome the aftermath of the typhoon. Deputy PM Truong Vinh Trong and representatives from various ministries, agencies and provinces also attended the meeting. Dung, who had postponed his working visits to Malaysia and Singapore yesterday, in order to attend the meeting, relayed his condolences to the families of the victims.

The Prime Minister said in concluding the meeting that Typhoon Durian, the ninth of the year, was tracked early and the country had taken initiatives in preventing and controlling it, including continuous information updates to ministries and the people.

Dung also pointed out that the carnage inflicted by the typhoon was probably more pronounced due to the fact that it hit the southern provinces, which are rarely affected by storms.

He ordered searches for the missing to continue, medical treatment to the injured to go on and to ensure victims families are adequately cared for.

The Government has put aside between VND2 million and VND5 million to aid people to restore their houses which were either collapsed or damaged.

The Prime Minister went on to ask local authorities to remain vigilant in stamping out profiteering by sellers of goods in the affected areas and to bring needed infrastructure back on line as quickly as possible.

Delta schools opened

Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provincial authorities are stabilising the region after the havoc of Typhoon Durian by reopening damaged schools, ensuring essential materials and allowing fishermen to return to sea.

As of Wednesday night, Typhoon Durian had left 60 dead, 38 missing and 433 injured after ravaging Viet Nam’s southern coast on Tuesday, according to the Central Steering Committee for Storm and Flood Control.

Around 121,000 houses and dozens of schools were damaged while 696 fishing vessels sank.

Provincial authorities have provided essential goods such as rice, instant noodles, milk and household kits to typhoon victims in accordance with Government directives to keep victims from going hungry.

The majority of students in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces of Ben Tre, Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Ca Mau and Bac Lieu returned to school on Wednesday.

However, about 30,000 students in Ben Tre’s three hardest-hit districts – Ba Tri, Binh Dai and Giong Trom – have not returned to school since the storm. Local authorities are urgently rebuilding schools to have the remaining students return within ten days.

Material prices up

The prices of essential construction materials such as nails and fibro-cement roofing sheets have increased by 5-10 per cent in Ben Tre, Tien Giang and Vinh Long provinces since the storm.

Several materials are scarce in the most damaged areas of Giong Trom District, Ben Tre Province. Local residents have had to collect nails to build temporary shelters.

In Binh Dai District, the hardest hit in Ben Tre, even coconut palms have become scarce as the typhoon destroyed most of the recent harvest. This has forced people to re-roof their houses with old and damaged palms taken from their destroyed homes.

Nguyen Phuoc Hai, Chairman of Binh Dai District’s People’s Committee, said local authorities have ordered that building materials vendors be inspected and heavily fined if caught trading illegally in order to prevent price rises and ensure the supply of materials.

Fishing vessels move to sea

As the typhoon moves out of the country, Kien Giang, Ca Mau and Bac Lieu provinces have allowed docked fishing vessels to travel out to the sea again. Weather officials have urged fishing vessels to keep up to date on weather forecasts to stay safe.

PM Dung meets voters

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at a meeting with voters of Thu Dau Mot Commune in southern Binh Duong Province yesterday expressed his happiness at people’s faith in the country’s development, and addressed legitimate concerns of voters, including Viet Nam’s WTO membership, administrative reforms, and corruption.

He told voters that the Government would concentrate on administrative reforms next year, ranging from legal institutions to Government organisations, and called on civil service employees to have greater attachment to the public to meet people’s legitimate aspirations.

Such efforts were required for the country to record a steady growth rate of between 8.2 to 8.5 per cent in the coming years, Dung pointed out.

He also briefed voters about Government measures to boost administrative reforms, streamline and simplify administrative procedures and reduce problems for the people and businesses.

About corruption and wastage, Dung affirmed that this was a dark side of the society that the Party, Government and State were trying to combat.

Along with anti-corruption efforts, the country had to speed up administrative reforms for building a healthy, powerful and effective bureaucracy, and step by step reform the salary policy, he said.

During the process of international integration, with Viet Nam joining the WTO, the Government would give priority to investments in infrastructure, science-technology, human resource training, and encourage businesses to invest in rural and mountainous areas, Dung said.

The PM confirmed that the Government was intensifying efforts to achieve high and solid growth rate in the coming years while ensuring social stability along with poverty alleviation. — VNS

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