Vietnam has the opportunity to upgrade forecasting technology, improve forecasters’ roles, and heighten people’s awareness about the impact of natural disasters.
Mai Van Khiem, director of National Hydrometeorological Forecast Center, said natural disasters have become complicated with climate extremes and records set in recent years.
These include the highest temperature of 43oC measured in the northern part of the central region and the record heavy rains in Vinh City and Phu Quoc Island.
Vietnam’s hydrometeorology sector has strengthened international cooperation to improve forecasting quality. Through this cooperation, Vietnam can access new forecasting technologies and international data.
|Vietnam’s hydrometeorology sector has strengthened international cooperation to improve forecasting quality. Through this cooperation, Vietnam can access new forecasting technologies and international data.|
Since 2018, units of the National Meteorological Forecasting Center have established relations with IRI (the US International Research Institute for Climate and Society), CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture), UK Met Office and FMI (Finnish Meteorological Institute), and participated actively in multi-sided activities of WMO (World Meteorological Organization) and Typhoon Committee.
The national forecasting agency now can give forecasts and warnings about some phenomena that occur on a small scale, such as quantitative rain that serves flash flood forecasting.
This is a phenomenon that has great impact on natural disasters and geological disasters such as flash floods and landslides that are very difficult to predict, according to Khiem.
In 2019, 10 more weather radars were put into operation. With the current radar system, Vietnam can watch phenomena once every five minutes, especially thunderstorms, whirlwinds, lightning and hail. This can give warnings about thunderstorms, whirlwinds, lightning and hail 1-3 hours in advance.
According to Khiem, Vietnam has reinforced the network of monitoring stations, especially automatic rain monitoring stations. The thick network of stations gives more information to experts to forecast flash floods and landslides.
In 2019, Vietnam put into operation 18 lightning positioning stations that identify places where thunderstorms or lightning can occur.
With the support of advanced technologies, meteorological forecasting has been improved considerably. However, Khiem said scientists have noted that natural disasters appear to no longer occur in accordance with natural laws. What happens this year may be quite different from what happens in following years.
Asked about plans for the future, the national forecasting agency will increase the quality of quantitative rain forecasts based on international forecast systems and local data. This will provide more reliable and more detailed information about quantitative rains 24 or 48 hours in advance.
The forecasting agency is striving to not only give warnings of meteorological factors, but also predict the possible impact and risks that natural disasters can cause, thus helping ministries’ and branches efforts to cope with disasters.
Vietnam supports and joins global efforts to respond to climate change and address its security implications, particularly in its current role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
The Mekong Delta must include an “emergency” response to climate change in its regional planning for the 2021-30 period as rising seas, coastal erosion and subsidence could occur earlier than previously thought, Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung said.