|Fishermen take their boats in before a storm in Thanh Hoa Province's Hai Loc Commune. — VNA Photo
DA NANG (VNS) — Super storms are expected to hit the central region from Thanh Hoa to Phu Yen with sea waves reaching 2 to 4.5 metres in height.
This information was released by acting director of the National Centre for Hydrometeorological Forecasting Hoang Duc Cuong, who issued the warning during the sum-up meeting on flood and storm prevention yesterday.
He also noted that the forecast shows that Viet Nam would suffer El Nino, an abnormal warming of surface ocean waters, causing prolonged hot weather period in Northwest and north central region, while the Central Highlands region will face a shortage of rainfall and drought in May and June.
"We have seen the storm level 13(with wind speed reaching 134-149km/h) as the biggest storm over the past 20 years, but this year we expect to face stronger cyclonic storms with a potential to inflict severe damage," Cuong pointed out.
"Sea water during the storm is expected to rise up to four to five metres high in areas between Ha Tinh and Nghe An. The water surge can inundate and floods could reach 5 to 10 kilometres inland in the coastal areas of Thua Thien-Hue," he emphasised.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai recounted that despite adopting active measures for preventing disasters during the last year's storm and flood season, 285 people were killed and losses amounting to VND28 trillion (US$1.3 billion) were recorded in the central region.
"We should eye on more effective solutions and ways to prevent bigger storms, which are a result of climate changes. All agencies and local administrations should chalk out clear plans to handle unexpected risks of disasters. Public buildings and houses must be constructed to withstand bigger storms and floods," Hai proposed.
He assigned the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to draft disaster response plans against super storms and revise methods of prevention and search and rescue operations during the storm and flood season, which need to be approved in June.
"We need to have a reserve plan to handle the worst risks of global climate change when storms, floods, and disasters will surpass our climate forecast and preparations," he asserted.
The Deputy Prime Minister also emphasised the importance of raising awareness about floods and storm prevention among the local people, providing safe docks and communication for fishing vessels, and prioritising search and rescue training.
He also laid emphasis on the need for upgrading early flood observation systems on rivers and reservoirs.
At the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister also lauded the efforts of the armed forces in successfully carrying out search and rescue operations during last year's storm and flood season. — VNS