Vietnam reckons October disaster damage at $734 mln

By Nguyen Quy   November 3, 2020 | 10:00 pm PT
Vietnam reckons October disaster damage at $734 mln
A woman cleans ups her damaged home in Quang Ngai Province after Storm Molave's landfall on October 28, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Linh.
The series of storms that battered central Vietnam in October, triggering floods and landslides, caused economic damage worth VND17 trillion ($734.67 million), the government estimates.

This is nearly 2.5 times higher than the VND7 trillion ($302.6 million) loss suffered for the whole of last year as a result of natural disasters.

So far, at least 235 people have died or been listed missing after the floods and landslides triggered by storms and heavy rains in central Vietnam last month, the government informed the National Assembly Tuesday.

Among the casualties were 35 military officers and soldiers of two different military teams sent on search and rescue missions after landslides hit several districts in the provinces of Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Tri.

The region suffered historic flooding, with the peak time falling between October 12 and 19. Floodwaters inundated the homes of 317,000 families with 1.2 million members from Nghe An to Quang Nam, with many areas being flooded for nearly two weeks.

Over 200,000 houses were seriously damaged. Many public construction projects also suffered heavy damage and roads were heavily eroded.

Of the total damage of VND17 trillion, VND10 trillion ($430.16 million) was caused by Molave, one of the most powerful storms to hit Vietnam, the government said.

The storm made landfall over Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces on October 28, causing heavy rains and deadly landslides in the central region.

Earlier, the government granted over VND1 trillion, over 11,500 tons of rice and other essential items in relief support for the worst-hit central provinces.

Not over

The government said it would continue to mobilize all forces to search for the victims buried in several landslides and fishermen missing at sea. Among the missing are 12 hydropower plant workers in Thua Thien-Hue Province who were hit by a landslide on October 12, 19 residents in Quang Nam Province hit by two landslides as an impact of Storm Molave last week, and 23 fishermen from Binh Dinh Province whose boats sank in rough sea as the storm was near.

Priority in relief support will be given to those in worst-hit localities and isolated areas and to quickly repairing infrastructure and public construction works damaged by storms and floods, the parliament was told.

The government is also joining forces with local authorities to evacuate residents from high risk areas as storm Goni, the 10th storm to hit Vietnamese waters this year, heads towards south-central Vietnam.

International forecasting agencies expect the storm to directly affect the provinces of Binh Dinh and Phu Yen.

Natural disasters, predominantly floods and landslides triggered by storms, killed 132 people and injured 207 others in the country last year.

The East Sea could see 11-13 storms and tropical depressions this year, and half of them could affect Vietnam, meteorologists have warned.

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