Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control has instructed Mekong Delta provinces to keep farmers informed about weather and tide conditions so they can harvest crops unprotected by dyke systems.
To minimise losses caused by rising water levels of the Mekong River, local authorities have been helping farmers to upgrade dykes and drain water from rice fields.
On August 7, the water level on Tiền River was 3.26 metres and on Hậu River was 2.59 metres. The warning level is 3.5 metres and 3 metres, respectively.
The water level was expected to peak at 3.55 metres on Tiền River and 2.9 metres on Hậu River on August 10.
On August 15, the water level is expected to peak at 3.8 metres on Tiền River and 3.2 metres on Hậu River, which will flood provinces in An Giang, Đồng Tháp and Long An.
Vũ Đức Long, deputy director of the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, said that floods in the delta would occur in early October and the water level will peak at 4.3-4.5 metres on Tiền River.
Authorities and farmers should closely monitor the forecasts and warnings of the local hydro-meteorological services, Long said.
In Long An Province, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that Đồng Tháp Mười District has 152,450ha of summer-autumn rice crop.
The authorities had asked farmers to focus on harvesting before August 20 to minimise losses.
In the first half of the year, 75 people were either killed or missing while 48 others were injured during natural disasters. Total economic damages reached VNĐ868.5 billion (US$37.73 million), according to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.
A total of 14 kinds of natural disasters occurred in the country during the period, including two typhoons, two tropical depressions, 88 thunderstorms, seven flash floods, numerous landslides, seven strong wind spells over the sea, and four extreme cold spells, among others.
In total, 509 houses were destroyed, while another 12,571 were damaged.
Fifteen thousand hectares of rice and 1,700 ha of industrial plantations also suffered damage, while nearly 9,000 fowl and 17,000 cattle were killed due to natural disasters.
In the remaining half of the year, Việt Nam can expect 12-13 typhoons, with at least four or five making landfall, according to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.
Last year, 16 storms and six tropical depressions formed in the East Sea. Of the number, five storms and three tropical depressions hit Việt Nam.
Severe disasters resulted in 386 people deaths, 122 more than in 2016, and 86 more than the average number of the past decade.
Economic losses amounted to VNĐ60,000 billion ($2.6 billion), a 30 per cent increase compared with 2016, and 2.5 times higher than the average of the past decade.
Hydroelectric plants ensure safety
The People’s Committee of Bình Thuận Province on August 9 directed related units to ensure safety of reservoirs at the province’s hydroelectric plants during the flood season.
The People Committee asked district authorities to work with managers of hydroelectric plants to install warning systems downstream.
In addition, the management units are responsible for informing people and authorities before discharging flood waters.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Bình Thuận Province has required management units to send supervisors 24/7
Bình Thuận has 78 irrigation works with capacity of up to 70,000 hectares. Most of them are in poor condition due to lack of maintenance. — VNS