Forum talks on ways to limit impacts of natural disasters
QĐND - Thursday, December 18, 2008, 22:23 (GMT+7)
Emergency management plans must be in place to reduce the impacts imposed by natural disasters on the environment and socio-economic development.
This was the key message of the forum on “Measures to reduce the vulnerability caused by flash-floods and related phenomena” in Hanoi on Dec. 17.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the World Bank co-hosted the event that was aimed at managing natural disaster risks, particularly in mountainous areas.
Flooding and storms kill about 500 people in the country every year and cause losses of about 1 billion USD, according to the head of the National Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Control, Nguyen Xuan Dieu.
A total of 21 flashfloods have occurred in mountainous areas so far this year, leaving 192 dead or missing and 154 others injured. Total property losses were estimated at more than 2.3 trillion VND (140 million USD).
Of the dead and missing, up to 153 were victims of tropical storm Kamuri alone, which slashed northern mountainous provinces in early August.
Deputy Minister of MARD Nguyen Ngoc Thuat said that the country was facing greater challenges caused by natural calamity, thus guidelines for the coming years would be active in prevention.
The tasks set forth in the national strategy on fighting and preventing natural calamity until 2020 include mapping areas at high risk for flashfloods, making plans for land use, managing mineral exploitation and strengthening the warning system.
Improving residents’ awareness of natural calamity will be also part of the model.
In the past, the country finished building a river dike system to prevent flooding and is launching the construction of sea dikes and flood control works.
Elevated resettlements have also been set up in Mekong Delta area to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people out of dangerous areas.Source: VNA