Workshop reviews historic floods of 1999 in Vietnam

Saturday, 2019-11-30 11:17:57
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The workshop on disaster management in central Vietnam
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NDO - An international workshop was held on November 29 to look back at disaster management during the historic floods of 1999 that killed more than 700 people in central Vietnam.

According to the General Department of Disaster Prevention (GDDP), the first of the flooding occurred from November 1-6, 1999, with rainfall averaging at 600-900mm. Hue recorded precipitation of 2,288mm, leaving many areas in Thua Thien-Hue province submerged by 2-4 metres.

The second flooding hit the provinces from Thua Thien-Hue to Khanh Hoa from December 1-6, 1999, during which Quang Nam province was the hardest hit with rainfall of nearly 2,000mm.

Le Minh Nhat at the GDDP said that the historic floods of 1999 were the results of a combination of factors, including widespread heavy rains, flash floods, landslides, inundation, rising sea levels, rising tides, large waves and coastal erosion.

The flood left 729 dead, more than half of which were in Thua Thien-Hue province, destroyed over 52,500 houses, swept away 570 schools and many other properties, with total losses estimated at VND4.133 trillion (nearly US$179 million).

During and after the historic floods, all-out efforts were made by people from both at home and abroad to help the central provinces quickly recover from the disasters.

The central government took out 8,600 tonnes of rice from the national rice reserve to provide to the flooded regions and mobilised as many vehicles as possible to transport relief goods to affected residents.

At the workshop, participants discussed many lessons from the two historic floods of 1999, highlighting the importance of accurate forecasts, which can reduce damages.
International organisations also shared the role of social organisations and local communities in disaster management and flood control.

Vice Chairman of the Central Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention Tran Quang Hoai said that Vietnam is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, which are happening in greater frequency and intensity.

Therefore, exchanging lessons from past and current disasters in Vietnam and other countries is highly important to working out more appropriate solutions to the new situation.