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|Huge loss over 10 years
There were 96 flash floods between 2000 and 2009 in Viet Nam. More than 880 people were killed or went missing due to these disasters, 1,500 people were injured, more than 6,000 houses were swept away and 132,000ha of rice and subsidiary crops were destroyed.
The total damage caused by these floods cost an estimated VND6 trillion ($315 million).
So far this year, eight landslides and flash floods hit the country, which killed 10 people in total.
Landslides and flash floods primarily occur in the northern mountain provinces, including Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Lai Chau, Son La, and Cao Bang and in the central provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Nam, Gia Lai and Dak Lak.(Source: The Steering Committee on Floods and Storms Prevention and Control)
According to an online conference organised by the Government yesterday in Ha Noi, the amount of households that need to be relocated has increased by eight folds in the last five years.
Regions vulnerable to flooding and landslides include the northern central provinces, mountainous areas, the Hong (Red) River Delta and the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.
Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, who chaired the conference, requested ministries and localities to implement their relocation plans in a timely fashion in order to mitigate the loss of human lives.
"Prevention should be a key task," he said.
Hai said priority should be given to repairing reservoirs, monitoring construction projects and educating the public about how to protect themselves against flash floods and landslides.
In addition, localities should regularly organise disaster drills in order to prepare residents living in these vulnerable locations.
He also ordered authorised bodies to complete the map of flash flood-prone regions, increase the amount of networks to measure rainfall and train relief teams.
Hai said in the past inefficient management at the district level, limited funds and a lack of digitised maps had stalled progress on the initiative.
According to the Central Steering Committee on Floods and Storm Prevention and Control, flash floods and landslides regularly occur in regions located in steep terrain.
Landslides and floods in these areas often damage property and kill people. These events are also difficult to predict.
The committee reported at the conference that the financial costs for these relocation plans were continuing to increase. The estimated cost of the project increased from VND182 billion (US$9.5 million) in 2006 to more than VND1.167 trillion ($61 million) this year.
However, only VND76 billion ($4 million) and VND272 billion ($14 million) were allocated to the projects, respectively.
The committee said the Government needed to increase the annually allocated budget to provinces so that the relevant authorities can execute the relocation plans based on the Prime Minister's Decision 193, which was signed in 2006. — VNS