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WB: Annual losses caused by natural disasters in VN hit US$11 bln

Annual losses to people’s well-being from natural disasters are estimated at around US$11 billion in purchasing power parity terms, according to WB’s report on Vietnam’s coastal development between opportunity and disaster risk.


Illustrative photo: VNA

The report says that: Nationally, natural shocks cause private and public asset losses worth an average of US$8.1 billion in PPP terms each year; that is US$2.7 billion in real terms. About 60% of these losses are caused by typhoons and accompanying storm surges.

Around 11.8 million people in coastal provinces are exposed to the threat of intense flooding and over 35% of settlements are located on eroding coastlines.

Essential public services are also at risk: 26% of public hospitals and health care centers and 11% of schools are exposed to intense coastal flooding, compromising their ability to provide critical services when they are most needed.

Flooding of facilities is not the only concern: every year, typhoons and floods cause about US$144 million in direct damages to public transport infrastructure.

Average annual damages to energy infrastructure amount to US$330 million, not least because more than one-third of Viet Nam’s transmission grid is located in forested areas, at risk of falling trees and branches during storms.

The lack of reliable and resilient infrastructure disrupts firms’ operations, causing some US$280 million in utilization rate losses each year.

Each year, an average of US$852 million - or 0.5% of national GDP - and 316,000 jobs are at risk from riverine and coastal flooding in the agriculture, aquaculture, tourism, and industry sectors.

Da Nang City alone experienced 26 typhoons, 13 tropical depressions, and 46 flood incidents between 1998 and 2015.

Although the Government of Viet Nam has made impressive progress in reducing and managing natural risks, current trends show that it needs to take further action to safeguard future development in the face of disaster risks. VGP

Thuy Dung

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