Prompt actions requested to deal with flood aftermath

Saturday, 2017-08-05 12:02:36
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Hua Nam village, Nam Pham commune, Muong La district (Son La province) suffers heavy losses due to floods. (Credit: NDO)
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NDO/VNA – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered the authorities of the northern mountainous provinces, along with the relevant agencies and ministries, to augment their efforts in response to the torrential rains and floods that have wreaked havoc in the region over the last few days.

>>> Deputy PM urges for readiness in response to natural disasters

Widespread heavy rains have been reported across the mountainous and midland provinces in northern Vietnam. Flash floods and landslides in a number of areas have caused heavy human and property losses, especially in the Muong La district of Son La province and Mu Cang Chai district of Yen Bai province.

In his written order, the PM requested that the provincial People’s Committees, particularly of Yen Bai and Son La, continue capitalising on local forces to search for missing people and address the flood consequences, evacuate residents from flood and landslide prone areas, whilst ensuring food supply for locals.

The National Committee for Search and Rescue, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Public Security were told to deploy their local forces to assist in the search and rescue activities and help localities overcome flood consequences.

While the Transport Ministry has to support the provinces to ensure traffic safety in areas with landslides, the Health Ministry must direct grassroots medical staff to provide free healthcare examinations and treatment for the injured and to help the local residents ensure post-flood environmental hygiene.

The centre for hydro-meteorological forecasting, directed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, must continue to keep a close watch on rain and flood developments in order to issue timely forecasts and warnings.

The Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control was also asked to work with the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Finance Ministry and the relevant sides to report on flood consequences to the PM to consider assistance.

As of the end of August 3, heavy rains and floods had killed nine people, injured 12 others and caused 24 to go missing in Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Yen Bai, Son La and Cao Bang provinces.

As many as 196 houses were washed away or collapsed, including 29 in Yen Bai and 167 in Son La.

Meanwhile, over 13,640 cubic metres of earth and rock were eroded on national highways in the northern provinces. Floods also washed away 3km of the provincial road No 109, isolating Nam Chien commune and the Nam Chien hydropower plant in Son la province. Up to 144 irrigation works in Yen Bai and Son La, along with many other infrastructure facilities in the region, were also damaged.

The total cost of the damage has amounted to over VND538.2 billion (US$23.7 million), according to Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.

The Vietnam Red Cross, on August 4, approved urgent aid worth over VND1billion (US$43,990) for the provinces in the northern mountainous region, which is bearing the brunt of severe flooding.

The target provinces are Yen Bai, Son La and Lai Chau.

The sum is set to assist the families of the nine people killed during the storm and 224 households, whose houses have collapsed or were swept away by the floods, with VND3 million each.

It will also be used to cover the expense of 280 canvas sheets needed to make temporary shelters for displaced people, as well as 150 house repair kits and 280 household supply boxes.

Earlier, on August 3, the Yen Bai Red Cross officials sent a delegation to Mu Cang Chai district to deliver VND27 million and nine emergency boxes for local residents.

The Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) has donated VND3 billion to Nam Pam commune, Muong La district of the northern mountainous province of Son La, which was ravaged by floods, to build a new medical station.

The firm also presented VND150 million as gifts to locals to help ease their difficulties due to the recent devastating flood.

On August 3, Muong La suffered from the most devastating flood in 70 years, causing 17 deaths and missing, along with hundreds of billions of VND in property losses.

On August 4, the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) also decided to provide nearly VND1.6 billion to the three hardest-hit localities of Yen Bai, Son La and Lai Chau to help locals overcome their difficulties.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has asked the health departments of Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Son La, Lai Chau, Dien Bien and Hoa Binh provinces to repair the health facilities affected by the floods to ensure services for residents.

At the same time, the departments should implement plans to protect or move the health facilities to safer places to ensure the safety of the patients and health workers.

They were also directed to immediately roll out measures to clean up the environment, monitor food safety, pasteurise water and prevent possible diseases.