Prolonged heavy rains and flooding in central Quảng Bình Province submerged around 300 houses in Tân Hóa Commune last week. — VNA/VNS Photo Văn Tý
HÀ NỘI — Natural disaster threatening the globe have increased recently mainly due to rapid, unscientific and unreasonable development by humans which needed all countries and peoples to join hands to mitigate damage to communities, according to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường.
The minister was speaking at a meeting held earlier this week to mark the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction and the ASEAN Day for Disaster Management (October 13).
Economic losses caused by natural disasters in Việt Nam this year had amounted to VNĐ5 trillion (over US$215 million) as of late September, while 98 people had been left dead or missing.
Since the beginning of this year, Việt Nam has been hit by 248 thunderstorms, whirlwinds and torrential rains; seven tropical storms on the East Sea; 13 flash floods and 68 earthquakes, not to mention serious saline intrusion and erosion along river banks and sea dykes in the Mekong Delta.
On this occasion, the 2019 National Press Awards for Disaster Prevention and Control, the first of their kind, were presented at the ceremony.
The 2019 press awards, themed "Reducing Damage Caused by Natural Disasters - Proactively Adapting to Climate Change Begins with the Community", were created to recognise, commend and reward episodes, organisations, and individuals making practical contributions to disseminate information and communicate disaster risk management.
In the five and a half months following the launch of the awards, from October 10, 2019 to March 31, 2020, the organisers received 896 submissions in the five categories of printed articles, articles from electronic newspapers, television reports and documentary programmes, radio submissions, and press photos. The press awards attracted 602 journalists, reporters and collaborators from more than 120 press agencies at national and local levels.
The organising committee awarded two first prizes, seven second prizes, 10 third prizes, and one to Nhân dân (People) newspaper for the most entries submitted.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Hoàng Hiệp, who was also head of the organising committee, said the work of the press not only deeply and closely reflected the situation of natural disasters in the country, but also offered many multi-dimensional perspectives on solutions and plans to support the prevention and reduction of risks, contributing to extensive communication and raising a sense of responsibility within the whole community for disaster risk management.
Meanwhile, UNDP Resident Representative in Việt Nam Caitlin Wiesen said the media played a vital role in disaster prevention, noting that before, during, after a disaster, they provided critical information that enabled leaders to make decisions and people to respond promptly.
“Working together, our joint efforts will contribute to a safer, more sustainable, and more prosperous Việt Nam where no one is left behind,” she added.
At the end of the ceremony, the Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control and the UNDP announced the second National Press Awards for Disaster Prevention in 2020, which will have the theme "For a Society Safe from Natural Disasters - Proactively Adapting to Climate Change". — VNS