Typhoon Pakhar enters East Sea

Violin rhythm in My Lai On March 16 every year, local people in the central province of Quang Ngai see a foreign man play violin at the My Lai Massacre Monument in Tinh Khe Commune, Son Tinh District. The man is Roy Mike Boehm, an American veteran from Madison City of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The massacre took place in My Lai Hamlet, Son My Village (now in Son Tinh District) on March 16, 1968, by a group of U.S. soldiers. Up to 504 victims, mostly old people, women and children, were killed. Mike Boehm says that in 1980, he picked up an old violin at a dumpsite. He cleaned, fixed and learned to play it. When he listened to the song “Ashokan Farewell,” its rhythm seemed to touch his heart and he decided to learn to play the song. In 1992, Mike Boehm went to Vietnam to play violin on the memorial day of the My Lai massacre. He has been playing this song in My Lai on March 16 over the past 20 years. In 1994, Mike Boehm established the Madison Quakers Fund to help the needy in the village. Every year, Mike Boehm always goes to Vietnam on International Women’s Day (March 8) to attend events held by the Women’s Union of Quang Ngai Province because he is an honorary member of this organization. Thanks to Mike Boehm’s support, many local women have a better life. To Mike Boehm, every time he goes to Vietnam, he…... [read more]

A college student was hospitalized with serious injuries after a large branch of a sidewalk tree fell and landed on top of her and another high school student in downtown Ho Chi Minh City Saturday. The accident took place on Le Duan St., right in front of the US Consulate in the city. The branch of the peacock flower tree (Caesalpinia pulcherrima), measuring about 15 meters in length and 30 centimeters in diameter, fell from the height of seven meters. Ngo Hoang Nhu Thuy, 20, who was riding a motorbike, was hit directly by the falling branch and broke her left leg. Tran Hai Nhi, 18, who rode another motorbike behind Thuy, escaped with minor injuries on her hands and arms. Both motorbikes were damaged. Both girls were brought to hospital while police and workers from the city street plants company showed up to examine the site. According to authorities, many trees planted on the sidewalks of Ho Chi Minh City as well as Hanoi are faced with different kinds of human damage. Hundreds of sidewalk trees in Ho Chi Minh City were uprooted during typhoon Pakhar, a rare one hitting the city, in April 2012. Phung Quang Chinh of the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment said when the sidewalks are completely paved over, little space is left for roots to breathe or take in nutrition, forcing trees to grow roots above the ground and become unstable. Many trees were also killed by street vendors who threw…... [read more]

Ho Chi Minh City education department is carrying out disaster-and accident-response drills at all schools, training teachers and educating children. Tran Thi Kim Thanh, deputy director of the department, told Tuoi Tre newspaper that the city is located in the monsoon zone and vulnerable to natural disasters and effects of climate change like typhoons and high tides. The training was supported by UNICEF and aims to limit damage in case of disasters, including fires and floods. The drills started last year in the coastal districts of Can Gio and Nha Be, and are now being carried out at education offices and high schools across the city. Thanh said several schools were already putting their students through such drills for the last couple of years as recommended by the education ministry under a different program. Besides training teachers, the UNICEF program also helps put plans in place to prevent and mitigate incidents and respond to them. For students, it has involved learning about disaster mitigation in class and making field trips. Ho Chi Minh City was hit by Typhoon Pakhar in April 2012, which killed two people in neighboring provinces and uprooted hundreds of trees around the city. It usually receives downpours when typhoons blow over the East Sea and hit the central coast every year. Teachers stressed the need for the program, saying it would only work effectively if the students are put through drills since during emergencies they are likely to forget theories they learn. Like us on Facebook and scroll down to share your comment... [read more]

Many trees on Hanoi's streets are dead or dying due to human callousness and toppling on passers-by with deadly consequences, especially during storms and rains. One such victim is in hospital and had to have both her spleens removed an wear splints for her broken clavicle after a tree fell on her on Ngo Gia Tu Street, Long Bien District, on June 24. An old African mahogany (Khaya senegalensis) on Tran Binh Trong Street, Hoan Kiem District, fell the same afternoon, snapping electrical cables and uprooting a power pole, and collapsing the roof of a nearby bus station. No one was injured. On August 17 last year 160 trees toppled or shed branches during typhoon Kai-Tak, killing a taxi driver in his vehicle and damaging many houses and dozens of motorbikes. Phung Quang Chinh of the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment said trees all over Hanoi have "health problems." Yet it is not easy for trees to uproot and fall, and people are to blame for doing many things that damage them, he lamented. Trees are planted on sidewalks that are almost completely paved over, and there is not enough space for their roots to breathe or take in nutrition, he said. The suffocation causes the trees to grow roots above the ground, and this makes them unstable, he said. Many trees have been killed by street vendors who sheltered under them and threw leftover cooking oil, hot charcoal, and boiling water on their trunks. Many trees'…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge - Cao Duc Phat, head of the National Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control, said that forecasting storms has become much more difficult due to factors such as climate change.     Workers fortify a section of a dyke in HCM City. (Photo: SGGP)  Earlier, storms usually took place in the second half of the year. However, last April saw frequent storms and the beginning of this year saw tropical depressions. Climate change has upset former natural laws. Previously, the northern region was usually hit at the beginning of the storm season while the southern region was lashed towards the end of October and November. Storms now are unlikely to follow the old pattern again. Typhoon Pakhar hit the southern region at the end of March last year. Typhoon Son Tinh battered the northern region in October last year, causing much damage to Nam Dinh and Thai Binh provinces and Hai Phong City. According to the National Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control, natural disasters have become more severe and unpredictable resulting in extensive and widespread destruction in the last five years. In 2008-2012, total damage was calculated at VND74 trillion (US$3.55 billion), accounting for 1.48 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in a year. This ratio was less at only 1.08 percent five years back. The worst natural disaster was recorded in 2009 which accounted for 2.47 percent of GDP. According to the National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Center, there will be…... [read more]

Typhoon Vicente left seven people dead and missing in Vietnam's northern highlands after the storm dwindled to a tropical depression that brought on heavy rains on Wednesday. Nguyen Thi Thu, 28, and her two children (one 5 years old and the other nearly five months old) were killed in their sleep when a landslide crushed portions of their home in Tuyen Quang Province on Thursday morning, Tuoi Tre reported. Quang Van Quyen, 8, died after being swept away in a flash flood in Son La Province on Wednesday. Rescue workers are still looking for three other victims, including a man from Lao Cai and a husband and wife couple in Ha Giang. A flash flood in Lao Cai swept away Tran Van Truong, 47, at around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday while he was driving home from his job at an iron mine. The province reported heavy downpours that began on Wednesday afternoon and continued until 10 am Thursday, causing floods along several rivers. A Leng Van Trieu, 48, and his wife Chao Thi Thao, 55, also remained missing following the heavy rains. On Monday when the typhoon was still roughly 750 kilometers off Vietnam's northern coast, Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai said at a meeting that the authorities need to prepare for possible landslides and be "especially careful" about rains after the typhoon. "Our rain forecasts are not highly accurate yet," he said. Vicente was the four typhoon from the East Sea to hit Vietnam this year. The first one,…... [read more]

HA NOI — The heat will not be as cruel this summer as in previous years, but more storms are expected, according to Le Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Central Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Centre. Residents in Ha Noi flock to electronics shops to buy fans to resist the summer heat. However, temperatures this summer are forecast to be lower than in previous years. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Thao The meteorologist said the north and the centre of the country would still experience hot spells, but they would be shorter than in the past few summers. "It is unlikely that the temperature will reach the record 42-43 degrees Celsius in the north and Ha Noi that we experienced in 2010," he said. Temperatures in the north and northern centre would be lower as a result of La Nina, an ocean-atmospheric phenomenon that reduced the Eastern Central Pacific Ocean sea surface temperature by 3-5 degrees, according to Hai. The weather in the region is expected to cool tonight, putting an end to the first hot spell of the year. Temperatures are forecast to reduce by 5-10 degrees Celsius. Over the past few days, temperatures have reached 30-33 degrees in the northern delta, 35-37 degree in the highlands and even 36-38 degree in the coastal provinces between Thanh Hoa and Thua Thien-Hue. Meanwhile, HCM City and the south-east, which includes Dong Nai, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh, have experienced an early hot summer with temperatures up…... [read more]

Two people were killed, while thousands of houses and hundreds of trees were damaged by the Pakhar typhoon that swept through Vietnam’s southern and central regions Sunday, local authorities have reported. According to a report on the website of the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control Tuesday, one person was electrocuted to death and five others were injured in the southern province of Dong Nai. The other death was recorded in the central province of Ninh Thuan, as a man was swept away by a flood, VnExpress reported. In the meantime, authorities in Ho Chi Minh City, where locals have not seen a typhoon with torrential rains for years, reported on Monday that more than 600 houses and schools were destroyed across the city. The coastal district of Can Gio was the most stricken, the city’s People’s Committee told a meeting that day, adding that more than 3,200 locals had been evacuated before the typhoon made landfall. The same situation was also reported in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau and the central province of Binh Thuan, among others. Pakhar is the only typhoon in 30 years to make landfall in Vietnam at this time of year, VnExpress reported. RELATED CONTENT Typhoon causes heavy downpour, sinks boats in south central Vietnam Like us on Facebook and scroll down to share your comment Moreover, typhoons at the beginning of the stormy season, which starts in May, usually target the northern region and gradually move southwards, it said.…... [read more]

The Ho Chi Minh City government has ordered for various protective measures to be taken against typhoons, including planting more wind-resistant trees along roads. Fears about the city’s low preparedness were realized when Typhoon Pakhar hit on the night of April 1, felling around 400 trees. Faster, more comprehensive weather forecasts to help residents be better prepared are also a key requirement. The Departments of Construction and Science and Technology were ordered to study new requirements to make buildings safe from typhoons. HCMC is rarely hit by typhoons, the last severe one being in 1904, which killed around 1,000 people in the city and nearby provinces, according to the National Hydro-meteorological Forecast Center. Thus, most people were taken by surprise by the first storm to form over the East Sea this year. RELATED CONTENT Typhoon Pakhar kills 2, destroys numerous houses in Vietnam City vice chairman Le Minh Tri said at a meeting held to review the damage April 2 that most residents have the misconception that the area is “immune” to natural disasters. “Many houses and infrastructure facilities in the city cannot withstand such disasters,” he admitted. The center said global warming is causing more typhoons in the East Sea and expects around seven to hit Vietnam this year instead of the usual one or two. Like us on Facebook and scroll down to share your comment... [read more]

The problem has been compounded by the erosion of fertile soil and the salinization of the Mekong Delta brought about by climate change the speakers told the audience. And should the current trends remain constant, the arable land in Vietnam could decrease by as much as 3.2% by the end of the century, resulting in a decrease of 7.2 tons of rice per annum. Rising sea levels due to climate change have led to more saltwater entering and flowing upstream in the Mekong Delta causing increased flooding that erodes the river banks and results in intensified salinization of farmland making it unsuitable for rice farming. On a positive note, high-tech and climate-smart agriculture can mitigate this trend by formulating new farming techniques and better products more suitable for the changing environmental conditions, the speakers noted. High-tech farming utilizes technology to produce more efficient, environmentally-friendly farming processes that result in better quality crops, compared to existing more traditional methods. Effective high-tech farming introduces more cost-efficient operations for farmers and greatly enhance potential for higher top line sales and bottom line earnings because of improved quality of farm produce and consumer willingness to pay more for safer food. Climate-smart agriculture, which is somewhat analogous to high-tech agriculture, presents innovative farming methods to cope with the negative aspects brought to the forefront by climate change. Innovative farming, for example, would introduce hardier crops that could better withstand natural disasters and fluctuations in…... [read more]




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