Natural calamities cause losses of over US $1.16 billion

Natural calamities, mainly hails, flash floods, floodings, whirlwinds and especially typhoons Chanchu, Xangsane and Durian, caused a total losses of over VND 18.7 trillion (US $1.168 billion) to Vietnam in 2006, reported the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The calamities in the year almost occurred in central, southwestern and Mekong delta regions, causing 500 people dead or missing, and about 2,900 others injured.

About a total of 9 km of dykes were broken out; 3,300 ships and boats were destroyed and sunk; over 130,00 ha of rice fields were inundated with nearly o­ne-fourth completely lost; 99,000 ha of other crops were damaged with nearly half lost; and 20,000 ha of water surface for aquaculture were spoiled, GSO said.

The natural calamities also damaged 85,600 houses and classrooms, unroofed 74,200 others, flooded over hundreds of thousands of houses and ruined various infrastructure works.

The localities suffering heavy losses included central Da Nang city with VND 5.2 trillion  (US $325 million ) lost, southern coastal Ba Ria-Vung Tau province with VND  3.3 trillion (US $206 million ) and southern Ben Tre province with VND 3.1 trillion  (US $193.7 million ).

However, the GSO reported, with the assistance from the State, agencies, organisations and individuals, the production and life of people have returned to normal. In 2006, the number of households and people lacking food reduced by 35.4% and 36.7%, respectively, as compared with 2005.