Saline Intrusion, Drought Blow $129M off Vietnam Mekong Delta in Jan-May

Severe saline intrusion and drought wiped out VND3 trillion ($129.3 million) from Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region in the first five months of this year, said the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on June 15. Natural disasters tore out 54,700 hectares of paddy and resulted in 96,000 regional households suffering from freshwater shortage in the period. Meanwhile, the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting predicted that between 11 and 13 storms and tropical depressions may hit the East Sea, of which five or six typhoons are forecast to make landfall in Vietnam. For the upcoming tasks, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Hoang Hiep asked localities to review, update, and finalize plans for coping with natural disasters, especially strong storms and heavy flood. The committee targeted towards lowering by 30% of human damage by 2025 compared with that of the 2015-2020 period and providing professional training to 100% of the forces working on natural disaster prevention and control. (Bao Chinh Phu)