Deputy PM directs flood recovery efforts in Yen Bai

NDO/VNA - Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung directed flood recovery efforts in Mu Cang Chai district, the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai on August 3. He urged local authorities to promptly seek missing people and provide support for victims and their families. With the support of Military Zone 2, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and relevant ministries and agencies, localities must evacuate residents to safer areas and provide them with necessities. The Deputy PM asked the locality to soon repair roads, houses, schools, hospitals and key public works, ensure communications and normal production. The MONRE and MARD were required to promptly zone off landslide-prone areas to minimise losses. Preliminary statistics indicated that the disaster left two dead, 13 missing and 8 others injured in the district. The total damage in Yen Bai is estimated at nearly VND150 billion (US$6.52 million). Earlier on August 2, the heaviest rainfall and flash flood hit Muong La district, the northern mountainous province of Son La, leaving 6 dead, three injured and 10 others missing. Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Lo Minh Hung, who is also deputy head of the provincial Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention and Control and Search and Rescue, asked local authorities to evacuate local residents and their assets out of landslide-prone areas while seeking missing people and providing support for victims’ families. The flooding swept away 188 houses, destroyed…... [read more]

Flood in Muong La district, Son La province. Flash floods and landslides claim one life and damaged houses, roads and farm produce in northern localities. (Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Heavy rain in Muong La district, the northern mountainous province of Son La damaged houses, roads and farm produce. Flash floods and landslides claimed one life, two injured and seven missing and damaged 42 houses. The provincial People’s Committee ordered Muong La district to evacuate local people from landslide prone areas to safer places and to follow weather forecasts. Torrential downpours on August 2 and 3 triggered landslides in Mu Cang Chai town, Mu Cang Chai district, the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai. At least seven people were reported missing while 17 houses were damaged, including seven in Lao Chai commune and 10 in Mu Cang Chai town. Landslides also temporarily halted traffic in the district. Local authorities are conducting search and rescue missions and tackling the aftermath of the rains. Meanwhile, at least two people went missing in landslides in Muong Te district, the northern province of Lai Chau. They were reportedly buried under rubble while they travelled to a rice field. Their bodies had not been recovered as of 11am on August 2. The rain swept away local residents’ rice, poultry and cattle. -VNA... [read more]

Earlier today torrential rain and flashfloods killed at least five people and left 12 missing in the Muong La District, northern Son La Province and Mu Cang Chai District, Yen Bai Province. Heavy downpour caused flashfloods in the northern Son La Province which swept away 30 houses and 10 locals, five of them were found dead, the remaining are still missing. Many parts of the road to the centre of the Muong La District were under 1 meter of water, causing traffic congestion. The floods also destroyed many properties. Heavy rain also made water levels on the rivers rise dangerously high. Son La authorities mobilized hundreds of officials, soldiers, police officers and more to evacuate locals living near rivers and streams to safe areas. A horrible flash flood also occurred at 4.30am today (August 3) in Mu Cang Chai Town. Le Trong Khang, vice chair of the Mu Cang Chai District, said at least 7 people were reported missing and 17 houses were buried by mudslides or swept away by floods. Rescue forces are trying to search for those that are missing. Road users find it difficult to reach Mu Cang Chai Town due to landslides on many parts of the road. Pham Thi Thanh Tra, Secretary of Yen Bai Provincial Party Committee, led a working group to Mu Cang Chai to direct rescue missions and handle the consequences of natural disasters. Father, son killed in landslide in northern Vietnam A father and son in the northern province of Lai…... [read more]

NDO – Heavy rain, flash floods and landslides in the northern mountainous provinces from early August have claimed five lives, caused 15 missing persons and damaged 87 houses as of Thursday afternoon, announced the Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control on August 3. Reports from offices of local Steering Committees for Natural Disaster Prevention and Search and Rescue in Bac Kan, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Yen Bai and Son La showed that floods occurred from August 1- 3 in the provinces and have thus created landslides with a volume of 25,889 m3 on national highways and 16,137 m3 on provincial roads. The National Highway No. 32 is still suffering from traffic jams due to 200 m3 of mud from the landslide. Damage assessment and statistics are still under review. Immediately after the disasters, local authorities visited victims' families and mobilised forces to help local people overcome the consequences and stabilise their lives and restore traffic at areas suffering from landslides. According to the Irrigation and Dam Safety Management Department under the Directorate of Water Resources (the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), water reservoirs are generally operated in accordance with regulation. Reservoirs’ level in the North is at 55-70% of their designed capacity, the North Central at 70-75%, the South Central and the Central Highlands at 60-75% and the South East at 45-55%. At present, the reservoirs are being operated in accordance with regulation and under constant watch around the clock. All hydropower reservoirs have closed all their…... [read more]

Hydropower dam breach risk remains high Ngoc Lan By Ngoc Lan - The Saigon Times Daily HANOI - Local citizens are facing the risk of hydropower dam breach despite the availability of many legal documents and directives on safe hydropower plant operations and reservoir operation processes, said delegates at a meeting in Hanoi City on August 6. Hydropower dam safety has become a topic of public debate after a hydropower dam in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai broke open again last week, causing flash floods that destroyed hundreds of hectares of crops and caused huge asset damage for locals. Speaking at a meeting organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Nguyen Ngoc Hoi, vice chairman of Thanh Hoa Province, urged the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to issue regulations in the operation processes of dams for Hua Na and Cua Dat hydropower plants. Local residents in six to seven districts would be at risk when the stormy season comes. Dang Huy Cuong, director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said hydropower plant investors in general follow rules on dam safety. However, some operators of small plants with generation capacity under 30 MW and approved by local authorities have not fully followed regulations. As the challenges regarding large investments, complicated weather patterns and narrowing forest areas have hindered hydropower plant operations, investors could not arrange financial sources to implement dam safety rules, Cuong said. Nguyen Xuan Tien, chairman…... [read more]

In recent days, typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis have continuously struck many countries around the world, especially those in the Asia-Pacific region. Two consecutive quakes in Indonesia killed more than 5,000 people, injured 2,000 others, destroyed 20,000 houses and razed many villages to the ground. In Vietnam, people in the central region remain stunned after the destruction of storm Ketsana. In the country’s northern mountainous areas, flash floods have inflicted serious losses on the local people. Every year, climate change claims the lives of at least 300,000 people worldwide and causes losses of up to US$125 billion, which is much higher than the world’s total aid. The economic loss is estimated to reach as much as US$600 billion by 2030. Natural calamities also cause social instability, famines, and epidemics. If the current volume of exhaust fumes is not effectively controlled, 310 million people will suffer serious health problems, 20 million will fall into poverty, and 75 million will lose their houses over the next two decades. Vietnam is one of the five nations around the world which are most vulnerable to climate change. Efforts to minimize the impact of greenhouse gases require nations to work together. Besides raising public awareness, the international community needs to take joint action to reduce the release of carbon dioxide in developed countries by 25 - 40 percent in 2020. In the wake of recent disasters, it is now imperative to preserve the remaining forests, mangrove forests and precious coral reefs. It is also urgent to…... [read more]

With winds of 160 miles per hour (266 km per hour), the Category 5 hurricane had western Mexico on high alert, with the popular resort of Puerto Vallarta and others on the coast opening emergency shelters as hotels were closed. Driving rains sparked flash flooding and tourists piled into makeshift dormitories to avoid Patricia, compared by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to Typhoon Haiyan, which killed thousands of people in the Philippines in 2013. "The winds are really strong. It's amazing, even the cars are moving," said Laura Barajas, a 30-year-old hotel worker from the major cargo port of Manzanillo near where the storm hit. There were no initial reports of casualties after the storm hit northwest of Manzanillo. The US National Hurricane Center said Patricia could dissipate on October 24 as its winds will be sapped by the mountains of western Mexico. In Puerto Vallarta, the heart of a string of resorts that range from low-end mega hotels to exclusive villas attracting tech billionaires and pop stars, loudspeakers had blared orders to evacuate hotels ahead of Patricia's arrival. The streets emptied as police sirens wailed. US weather experts said Patricia was the strongest storm yet registered in the Western Hemisphere, and said the unprecedented hurricane could have a catastrophic impact. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said it was hard to predict what damage would be done by the massive storm, which could be seen barreling into Mexico from outer space. US President Barack Obama said the United States was…... [read more]

In a weather bulletin released on July 11, the centre said that at 16.00, storm Soudeler - the fourth of its kind to form in the East Sea this year – was positioned at 20.1 degrees north latitude and 113.5 degrees east longitude, about 330km southeast of Leizhou peninsula of China. It was packing winds of between 62-74kph near its eye. The storm is expected to move west and north west in the next 24 hours at a speed of 20-25kph and dump heavy rains on northern coastal provinces from Quang Ninh to Hai Phong. It will weaken into a tropical depression when it moves further inland. It will cause strong winds and rough seas in the northern part of the East Sea and northern coastal provinces. Mountainous provinces are warned of flash floods and landslides. The same day, the National Committee for Flood and Storm Control held a urgent meeting to cope with the storm. Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai asked northern provinces, especially coastal localities, to be well prepared for the storm. He asked rescue forces to call in vessels still at sea, reinforce public properties and move people in the lowland and flood-prone areas to higher ground before the storm makes landfall.... [read more]

However, it still poses a threat of landslides, warned the centre. Mountainous provinces have been warned of possible flash floods and landslides. At 7pm on July 12, the eye of the depression was at 21 degrees north latitude and 106.7 degrees east longitude, according to the centre. Winds of 39km per hour (force 6) were recorded. The depression is expected to move west overnight and weaken as it moves further inland. The National Committee for Flood and Storm Control held an urgent meeting on July 11 to discuss measures to cope with the storm. Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked all northern provinces, especially coastal localities, to be well prepared for the storm in order to minimise losses and damage caused by the expected floods. On July 12, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong held a meeting with leaders of the northern mountainous province of Bac Kan. He was informed about last weekend’s floods and solutions to improve the situation. The Government has decided to provide flood-hit localities with VND71 billion in financial support, of which VND20 billion would be designated for Bac Kan to transport goods and construction of irrigation systems, and to help people rebuild their houses and re-start agricultural production. Another tropical depression has appeared in the country’s territorial waters off Luzon Island, northeast of the Philippines. At 7pm on July 12, the depression was at 20.1 degrees north latitude and 125.6 degrees east longitude. Near the eye of the depression had a strength of…... [read more]

At 16.00 on July 12, the storm was positioned at 20.8 degrees north latitude and 107.8 degrees east longitude, about 70km southeast of Quang Ninh-Hai Phong coastline. It was packing maximum sustained winds of between 62-74kph near its centre. In the next 12 hours, it is expected to move west and north west at a speed of 20-25kph and slam into the north-eastern coastal provinces. In the afternoon, the storm will sweep across provinces from Nam Dinh to Quang Ninh and be downgraded into a tropical depression after making landfall. The National Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Centre warned northern coastal provinces of heavy rains, high sea surges, flash floods and landslides. Fishing vessels have been called in and all activities have come to a halt on Ly Son island In Quang Ninh, all fishing vessels and tourist boats on Ha Long Bay have been called in to stay at storm shelters. Provincial flood and storm control forces and local administrations have reinforced coal mines to prevent flash floods and landslides. They have transported 1,000cu.m. of canvas and 5,000 sand bags to Dong Rui commune, Tien Yen district, to prevent sea surges. More than 1,100 fishing boats in Van Don and Co To island districts have returned to storm shelters safely. According to Hoang Thanh, vice chairman of the Co To district People’s Committee, about 400 households in the flood-prone area are likely to be affected by heavy rains and high sea surges. Hai Phong city has asked approximately 4,000 fishing boats at…... [read more]

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