Ha Noi, 12 November – As northern Viet Nam recovers from the impact of Typhoon Haiyan, which killed thousands in the Philippines, the UN praises the Government of Viet Nam’s proactive prestorm measures, which have helped to save lives and mitigate impact.
Although Haiyan made landfall in Hai Phong and Quang Ninh in the early hours of Sunday as a Category 1 typhoon, eleven central and central northern provinces were pounded by heavy rainfall and high winds from the movement of the storm system offshore for the previous 24 hours. The full impact is currently being assessed. After making landfall, Haiyan quickly weakened into a tropical depression as it moved further inland, and changed its course to head towards southern China.
For the first time, the Prime Minister activated the highest state of preparedness on the 8th November, three days before the storm made landfall. As part of preparedness and mitigation measures, nearly 800,000 people were evacuated in advance of the storm. By the time the typhoon finally came ashore in the North, most of those evacuated in the central provinces had already returned home. “We are impressed by the extraordinary preparedness measures taken by the Government when confronted with this storm. Strong leadership, right from the highest level, played a key role in minimizing the impact and number of lives lost” said UN Resident Coordinator, Pratibha Mehta.
Central and provincial authorities were also placed on the highest level of alert to take all necessary preventive and response measures. A high-level Government delegation was deployed to direct operations, before, during and after the emergency. As a result the impact and loss is expected to be lower than initially anticipated.
Typhoon Haiyan was the 14th storm of this storm season, so both civil and military authorities were fully prepared. Each of the provinces had stockpiles of food, water, shelter, medical supplies and water and sanitation equipment already in place. Humanitarian workers of the UN system and INGOs recognize and praise the Government’s proactive preventive measures ahead of the storm for the lower loss and damage than initially anticipated.
The Government of Viet Nam has remained in control of the situation throughout and is unlikely to request for international assistance. However, the UN System remains in close contact with the authorities and other humanitarian partners, and stands ready to support if needed.
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