Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mekong Delta braces for storm season swayed by climate change

Thanhnien News (Vietnam): Weather experts are worried that Mekong Delta residents remain indifferent to or unaware of the threat posed by climate change to the upcoming storm season. Bui Minh Tang, director of the Central Hydrometeorology Forecast Center, told a seminar in Can Tho City Monday that the delta would face bigger storms than usual because of climate change. He said it was dangerous that residents are not taking the threat seriously enough.

Nguyen Huu Loi, vice chairman of the Can Tho City People’s Committee, said the impact of climate change on the delta was “obvious.” Tides in the city have risen by an average of four centimeters every year since 2004, and as a result, it has been hit by more frequent and severe flooding, badly affecting daily life as well as production, he said.

…Around ten storms and tropical depressions are expected to form in the East Sea and six or seven of them will directly affect Vietnam, Tang told the seminar. He said the storms will be “complicated” and move at high speeds, and locals not familiar with such intensity are likely to be unprepared to deal with them

…Five natural disasters that hit the country last year – a severe cold spell in the north, historic floods in Hanoi, record high tides in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, unseasonal flooding in the central region, and storms in the northern mountains – inflicted a heavy toll. They left 537 people dead or missing and property losses of about VND13 trillion (US$730.7 million), according to the Central Steering Committee for Storm and Flood Control and Prevention….

A floating house in the Mekong Delta, shot by √Čtienne Andr√©, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License

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