|Workers consolidate the dike along the Chu River in the central province of Nghe An's Tho Xuan and Thieu Hoa districts to cope with super storms and hurricanes. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam could be hit by a major storm at any time, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai warned yesterday at an online meeting with various ministries, sectors and localities.
At the meeting, Hai stressed that Viet Nam had to increase its ability to cope with the super storms and hurricanes forecast to strike in coming years.
"We cannot sit and wait until those happen. We have to take action now to adapt to the changing weather patterns," he said.
Extreme weather has becoming a pattern in the world and Southeast Asia is no exception.
In 2008, Storm Nargis killed 84,500 people in Myanmar. In 2013, Storm Haiyan, one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, killed more than 6,200 people in the Philippines.
Viet Nam was hit by 15 storms in 2013, killing 313 people.
In 2014, the number of storms and tropical low-pressure systems in the East Sea is forecast to drop to nine or ten, lower than the annual average, according to Viet Nam's National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecast. So far this year, three storms have made landfall in Viet Nam.
Meteorologists, however, cautioned that storms and tropical low-pressure systems might be more difficult to predict.
Hai noted that after Storm Haiyan hit the Philippines, the Government sent a delegation to the Philippines to research its pattern. He also called for the need to increase private investment in weather forecasting.
Viet Nam will face storms with winds at level 4-15 (150-183 km per hour), posing major threats to residential areas, especially in coastal provinces where severe flooding could occur, according to the Ministry of Resources and Natural Environment.
Experts at the conference also pointed out that most of the houses, infrastructure systems and residential clusters in Viet Nam's storm-prone areas, especially provinces from Quang Ninh-Thanh Hoa, could withstand winds of level 12-13 (103-133 km per hour).
The Deputy PM instructed all localities and steering committees to finalise their plans for dealing with large-scale storms by June 2015.
All the delegates noted the need to raise awareness about storm prevention and increasing the capacity of localities in forecasting and dyke protection, as well as supporting boats and fishermen and relocating residents when storms occurred. — VNS