Uprooted trees are seen on National Highway 12 leading to Ma Lù Bordergate in the northern province of Lai Châu on April 10 after heavystorm. —VNA/VNS Photo Quý Trung
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Tuesday requested authorities from the central to local levels to always take the initiative and avoid subjectivity when it comes to preventing natural disasters.
Addressing a meeting on the disaster situation in the remaining months of this year and urgent measures that need to be done, PM Phúc said that as Việt Nam was vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, it was very important to use modern technology to forecast and warn potential adverse weather conditions.
“We must pay more attention to natural disaster prevention and control to minimise their negative impact on human life and assets,” Phúc said.
Cities and provinces must be on their guard to quickly direct and implement responding measures, he said, adding that the localities should mobilise and make use of available resources – human, equipment, leadership and logistics.
Scenarios to deal with dangerous natural disasters like floods, flash floods or landslides must be reviewed and updated frequently.
The Government leader asked the National Committee for Disaster Response and Search and Rescue to be ready to promptly deal with all eventualities.
The Ministry and Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade were required to coordinate closely in ensuring the safety of reservoirs, and not to store water in reservoirs at risk of poor safety.
The PM agreed with proposals of the Central Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention and Control and related ministries and sectors to continue assisting localities affected by disasters, while asking the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry Planning and Investment to prepare budget reserves for disaster prevention and control.
“Besides central Government’s financial assistance, localities have to give priority to arrange funding including middle-term public investment disbursement for addressing the disasters’ aftermaths as well as responding to emergencies,” Phúc said.
“The allocation of Government’s financial assistance to disaster-hit localities must be managed strictly, timely and effectively,” he emphasised.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường, who is deputy head of the Central Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention and Control, said there may be up to nine storms in the East Sea by year-end, of which four or five will directly affect Việt Nam’s mainland.
Storms are forecast to hit central and southern regions, torrential rains will blanket central provinces while flash floods and serious landslides could occur in mountainous areas.
According to the committee, from the beginning of this year, 16 natural disasters happened across the country, with a rise in torrential rains, thunderstorms, hail storms and earthquakes.
This year, 78 people have either died or are still missing as a result of bad weather which also destroyed thousands of homes and wrecked 122,000 ha of crops causing VNĐ5 trillion (US$213.9 million) worth of damage.
Last year, it was reported that 133 people died or went missing due to natural disasters in Việt Nam. Natural disasters also caused loss of over VNĐ7 trillion ($299.4 million), a sharp reduction compared with that of 2018 – nearly VNĐ 20 trillion ($855.5 million) plus 218 people died or missing. — VNS