At a meeting in Hanoi Monday, which was chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, the Central Steering Board for Flood and Storm Control announced that abnormal, prolonged rains claimed 47 lives and has seven missing in Northern Vietnam, including 20 in Hanoi.
It is also estimated that losses hit nearly VND 5.3 trillion, including nearly VND 3 trillion for Hanoi, VND 1.3 trillion (US $81.3 million) for Hung Yen Province, and VND 888 billion (US $55.5 million) for Ha Nam.
More than 250,000ha of crops are flooded and the system of dikes and irrigation works are heavily damaged. Flood-stricken provinces have asked for urgent relief worth VND 516 billion (US $32.3 million), 5,000 tonnes of rice, and 800 tonnes of paddy seeds.
Trinh Duy Hung, Hanoi's Vice Chairman, said Hanoi has lost 52,000ha of winter crops, nearly 2,000ha of rice, and 9,500ha of aquatic planting ponds.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cao Duc Phat, said a majority of over 250,000ha of flooded crops is maize and soybeans. Soybeans will be rotten within three days while strong maize trees may survive.
Bui Minh Tang, Director of the Hydro-meteorology Forecast Centre, said there will be more showers and storms in the northern provinces and the northern part of the central region. The rainfall would reduce in the next few days, along with the water levels in some rivers.
Trinh Duy Hung said that Hanoi would have to prevent flooding at any cost to improve the situation by the weekend. The city accepts the lost of crops and aquatic rearing areas to protect dike systems and discharging flood water for the inner city.
Districts keep moving residents in flooded areas to safe destinations. The local authorities have granted over VND 8 billion (US $500,000) for five districts to repair dikes and 27 tonnes of instant noodles and 115 tonnes of rice for flood victims.
The Red Cross Association said Tuesday it will give relief for some provinces, particularly Hanoi and Ninh Binh.
Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai said Hanoi's lost of VND 3 trillion is just the initial estimation. The city would face indirect and prolonged losses.
Hai requested the Ministry of Industry and Trade to probe the need and market for food to prevent the increase of food prices in 11 provinces; the Health Ministry is checking every flood-hit province to provide medicines and health services timely; the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is recovering agricultural production and assessing losses in flood-hit areas.
Dr. Nguyen Huy Nga, Head of the Preventive Health and Environment Agency under the Health Ministry, said the ministry provided 12 tonnes of Clomin B to Hanoi to decontaminate flood water and prevent epidemics. He said the Ministry still has over 50 tonnes of this medicine in its warehouse.
The Health Ministry is taking urgent measures to protect the health of the people in flooded areas and to prevent epidemics in the post-flood time.
Le Ha - Minh Anh.