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Typhoon devastating for Dien Bien farmers

Update: August, 20/2014 - 08:54
The typhoon also damaged nearly 70 houses, destroyed more than 1,500 meters of irrigational channels and destroyed the electric system in Na Hy, Vang Dan and Na Bung communes.— Photo dienbientv.vn

DIEN BIEN (VNS) — While Typhoon Rammasun ended nearly a month ago, the northern province of Dien Bien is still dealing with the consequences.

In Nam Po District, the typhoon was the largest in 20 years and caused losses of VND35 billion (US$1.6 million), accounting for nearly half the provincial total.

The district lost 220ha of rice in the typhoon, said Nguyen Ngoc Binh, director of the Nam Po District Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. One rice field in Na Hy Commune that used to supply rice for hundreds of households had become a 40-60 centimetre deep sandbank.

Last month, the department began supporting local residents by providing them short-term rice seeds, according to Binh. For those whose fields were filled with sand, preventing them from planting rice, the department provided peanut and soybean seeds.

However, this effort was hindered by a lack of financial resources. The Ministry of Finance regulated that residents would be supported with VND2 million ($95) for each hectare of damaged rice field. But this was not enough to plant peanuts and soybeans, which cost about VND8 million ($380) per hectare.

"So the work of planting peanuts and soybeans could not be conducted," Binh said.

The typhoon also caused landslides across most roads in the district, damaging about 76km of road. As most of the roads were not covered with concrete, they were now mud puddles.

Since repair work was not completed, residents could not travel by motorbike and had to walk everywhere, said Mua Cho Sung, chairman of the Vang Dan Commune People's Committee.

The typhoon also damaged nearly 70 houses, destroyed more than 1,500 meters of irrigational channels and destroyed the electric system in Na Hy, Vang Dan and Na Bung communes.

Chu Van Su, director of the Nam Po District Structure and Infrastructure Department, said that the department had proposed the district and provincial authorities arrange funds to repair the irrigation, clean water and transport systems. — VNS

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