Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and a government delegation paid a visit to the flood-hit central province of Quang Binh on Saturday.
HA NOI —
Floods has claimed 42 lives, left 17 missing and injured 45 others in the province. Losses are estimated at 1.3 trillion VND (US$68.4 million).
Dung and the delegation visited Duy Ninh Commune, Quang Ninh District, one of the localities that suffered the greatest losses.
Praising the solidarity of people in the flood-hit areas, Dung asked the provincial Party Committee and local authorities to co-ordinate with relevant agencies to seek for missing people and assist families of the dead and the injured.
He also asked that they take measures to improve environmental hygiene, control epidemics and repair damaged infrastructure, especially houses.
He required the province to restore social welfare projects, particularly schools and medical clinics.
The same day, the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs informed that overseas Vietnamese contributed over 400 million VND ($21,000) to help the flood victims.
The donation was raised by a delegation of overseas Vietnamese, who are in Ha Noi for the millennium celebrations.
On Saturday, China's Foreign Affairs Minister Yang Jiechi sent a letter of condolences to Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Gia Khiem. He said that under the Vietnamese Government's leadership, people would overcome difficulties caused by the floods and stabilise their lives.
The Chinese Embassy also handed a donation of $10,000 for flood relief to a representative of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry in Ha Noi.
People and authorities in the flood-ravaged central region have begun sanitation work to prevent epidemics and are continuing to provide aid to the flood victims.
In Ha Tinh Province, though the waters have yet to recede completely, health authorities in Huong Khe and Vu Quang Districts have begun to remove dead animals, issue chloramine B to treat water and spray disinfectants.
In Phuong My Commune in Huong Khe District, the area worst hit by the floods – 450 out of its 640 houses were completely submerged in water – authorities relocated more than 20,000 people.
Roads leading to the commune remain blocked by mud.
Nguyen Hong Quan, head of the commune People's Committee, said volunteers were being mobilised to help families clean up their houses.
At Loc Yen Commune in Huong Khe District, health officials instructed residents in water treatment and environmental sanitation.
Nguyen Van Canh, one of the officials, said though the floods had receded, people did not have drinking water.
They helped treat water with chloramine B and sprayed disinfectants. Dr Pham Van Khang, director of the district's Preventive Medicine Department, said 113,300 water-treatment pills and 10,000 chloramine B tablets have been provided in addition to 245kg of CloraminB powder and other medicines.
The province's Department of Health has dispatched staff to flood-hit areas to assist with environmental sanitation. It has also provided chloramine B tablets and other drugs to Huong Khe, Vu Quang, Huong Son and Duc Tho Districts.
The province has allocated VND1.5 billion in cash and 10 tonnes of noodles for relief work in flooded areas. More than 1,000 soldiers have been mobilised to supply food and medicines to rural areas.
The Ha Tinh Party Committee said the Government provided VND100 billion (US$5.25 million) and 10,000 tonnes of rice while 194 companies and organisations donated VND7 billion.
In Quang Binh Province, 300 volunteers helped residents remove mud from houses and schools.
Cu Nam Kindergarten in Bo Trach District, which has 259 children, was one of the first to be cleaned by the volunteers.
Dinh Hung Cuong, 15, said he returned to school after a week.
That afternoon students in his class went to people's houses to remove mud and undertake other sanitation tasks.
On Saturday a group of volunteers from the province's Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union began to assist 20 communes in six districts.
By Saturday the death toll had risen to 62 while 23 were missing and 55 others were injured.
The most pressing issues now are sanitation and clean water: Around 6,300ha in the provinces face a threat of epidemics and 100,000 people are in need of clean water. — VNS