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  Enviroment Research & Protection

PM announces flash flood plan

Prime Minister Phan Van Khai last week unveiled urgent measures to cope with devastating flash floods in the country’s mountainous provinces following huge material and human losses caused by flooding in recent months.

In a directive issued last Friday, the prime minister urged people’s committees in mountainous areas to develop thorough preventive plans for communes and villages, and organise drills to raise local people’s readiness for flash floods.

In addition to planting warning signs in flood-prone areas and regularly updating information provided to the public, the authorities must evacuate people in the event of dangerous developments, he said.

He suggested that in outlining their preventive plans, local authorities should take into account socio-economic development programmes in order to ensure the efficiency of various projects.

Construction of buildings under the 135 Programme, a poverty-reduction plan, and other projects to construct schools must be reconsidered so that the buildings are able to both avoid flash floods and provide shelter for evacuees.

The provincial people’s committees are required to provide equipment for measuring rain in flood-prone communes in a bid to better warn residents about imminent danger, as well as improving the capability of flood and storm prevention committees at all levels.

In the long run, provinces need to work out plans to relocate residential zones and restructure production, said Prime Minister Khai.

The prime minister also assigned tasks for relevant ministries in the directive.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) will be responsible for conducting research and surveying building conditions to determine what areas are most vulnerable to floods, along with providing necessary instructions for provinces to prevent flash floods.

The ministry must force local authorities to restore or build new forests in affected areas, and it can use funds from the Planting 5 Million of Ha of Forest Project for the work, said Prime Minister Khai.

In addition, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment must upgrade hydrometeorology stations in mountainous provinces in order to increase the speed and accuracy of these stations’ forecasts, he said.

The Ministry of Science and Technology should conduct scientific research on flash floods to attain more information as well as effective ways to fight against this natural enemy, he said.

The PM also asked the media to work closely with relevant agencies to provide the public with the latest information about flash flood prevention.

VNS - (21/09/2004)

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