Vietnam learns from abnormal weather

VietNamNet Bridge – Tran Quang Hoai, head of the General Department of Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, talks to the newspaper Hai quan (Customs) on what he said was abnormal weather in Vietnam last year. What are your assessments on natural calamities, including storms and floods in 2017? Natural disasters in 2017 were complicated, unseasonable and unpredictable. They resulted in 386 people dead and missing and VND60 trillion (US$2.6 billion) worth of damage. In addition, there were heavy and prolonged downpours from June to October, with rainfalls up to 5,000mm. As a result, many of our reservoirs were full. The flooding triggered by storm Doksuri in mid-September in the North Central Region nearly reached the historic level of 5.18 metres in 1999. In northern mountain provinces, landslides and flash floods occurred frequently. A flash flood hit Nam Pam Spring, Muong La District, Son La Province on August 3, killing 15 people and sweeping away one million cubic metres of soil. All in all in 2017, 16 storms and six tropical depressions formed in the East Sea, of which five storms and three tropical depressions directly hit Vietnam. Many people have said that 2017 was a harsh year for Vietnam in term of natural disasters and human errors. What do you think? I can’t agree more. Objectively speaking, the natural disasters that hit our country last year were due to climate change. But, subjectively, the disasters were also worsened by the practices of living on hillsides, at the foot of mountains…

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