363 dead, missing in Vietnam this year amid poor weather forecasting: PM

By Staff reporters   November 18, 2017 | 01:51 am PT
363 dead, missing in Vietnam this year amid poor weather forecasting: PM
Nha Trang resort town in Khanh Hoa Province, usually safe from storms, was the hardest hit locality by Typhoon Damrey in early November. Photo by VnExpress/Phuoc Tuan
Inaccurate forecasts and inadequate preparations have been blamed for huge damages from disasters in Vietnam.

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam's weather forecasting capability has fallen short of demands as he addressed the parliament on huge damages from floods and storms.

Stormy weather has hit Vietnam hard this year, with 13 tropical storms affecting the country and another coming.

Flooding and storms have been ravaging almost all year round, destroying places which have rarely been hit before, Phuc said at a meeting with the legislative National Assembly on Saturday. Typhoon Damrey hit the usually gentle beach town Nha Trang of Khanh Hoa Province early in November, killing 106 people in the province and nearby places.

Natural disasters have left 363 dead and missing this year, damaging hundreds of thousands of houses, thousands of shipping boats and hundreds of thousands of hectares of rice fields.

He said that while the weather conditions were challenging, the forecasting ability of weather agencies "have not met demands."

"Several localities were unprepared or didn't persevere in the face of disasters," he said.

In the wake of huge damages from the massive Typhoon Damrey, officials from the transport ministry have blamed incorrect weather forecasts, leaving many fishermen with damaged boats as they were not alerted and did not evacuate. But the environment ministry said that people in the region were also unprepared.

UNICEF also said in a recent statement that the lack of communication at community level has led to poor preparation for typhoon Damrey, leaving 150,000 children to still suffer risks of malnutrition more than 10 days after the storm.

Last month, late forecasting was blamed as flooding accompanied by landslides killed 68 people in one week in northern Vietnam, making it one of the most terrible floods to ever hit the region.

Last year, tropical storms and flooding killed 264 people in Vietnam and caused damage worth VND40 trillion ($1.75 billion), nearly five times more than in 2015.

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