Dry season to be severe this year: experts

Created 19 May 2017
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Mekong Delta farmers experienced the worst dry season in history in 2016, and are now  facing another severe season in 2017. 

A report from the General Department of Irrigation shows that in the 2016 dry season, farmers in the southern part of the central region had to stop cultivating 23,000 hectares of rice because of the lack of water. 

The drought affected 43,000 hectares of industrial crops in the Central Highlands and the eastern part of the southern region. 

Meanwhile, a report of the Department of Agricultural Economics showed that 300,000 households lacked water for daily life in the dry season last year. 

Le Van Hieu, Soc Trang province deputy chair, said drought and saline intrusion affected 31,000 hectares and caused damages worth VND900 billion. 

Other localities reported damages worth VND15 trillion, despite great efforts to mitigate the consequences from the natural calamity.

According to the Central Hydrological Forecast Center, rainfall in the Mekong Delta from March to June will be less than the average level of recent years. 

Throughout the 2016 - 2017 dry season, the Mekong River’s total flow to the region will be 15-30 percent lower than the average level, equal to the 2014-2015 season and higher than 2015-2016.

Duong Van Ni from Can Tho University warned that the lack of water for Mekong Delta is not only because of the natural calamity, but also due to appearance of a series of hydropower dams on Mekong. 

Laos now plans to build another dam – Pak Beng – on the Mekong mainstream, which is predicted to worsen the problem in the Delta. 

Dan Viet cited a report showing that in 2016, Vietnam lost $1.7 billion due to natural disasters, the worst damage in the last 40 years.

A series of extreme weather phenomena took place in the year: Vietnam sustained 10 typhoons, and seven tropical low pressure spells on the East Sea, of which four typhoons and two tropical low pressure spells directly affected the mainland.

In addition, Vietnam was affected by 24 spells of cold weather, 22 heavy rains on a large scale, 5 major floods in the North, and 16 major floods in the central region and central highlands’ rivers.

The reports from local authorities said there were total damages of VND39.276 trillion, much higher than the damages of VND8.1 trillion in 2015.

Cong An Nhan Dan quoted Deputy Director of Southern Meteorological and Hydrography Center Dang Van Dung as reporting that El Nino may return to Vietnam in July and August, causing the summer to be hotter with more typhoons and super typhoons.


Source: Thien Nhien - VietNamNet

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