Speaker: Michael Annear, Country representative for Vietnam, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
ANNEAR: At the moment there are reports from the floods and storm committee of the Vietnamese government indicate that 24 people have lost their lives. There’s been some substantial damage to farm crops, as well as to infrastructure, community and also household infrastructure. While this is quite substantial those people affected, at this point in time it is localised into certain areas across 13 provinces in southern and central Vietnam.
LAM: And Michael what can you tell us about casualties?
ANNEAR: To date we know that there are 24 people that have lost their lives, which is unfortunate for themselves and those families. And there’s approximately six people who are still unaccounted for.
LAM: Michael heavy rains and floods are of course commonplace during the annual rainy season. I understand Usagi by some assessments was not as severe compared to previous storms. But still aid agencies are still bracing for worse storms to come. Can you tell us about that?
ANNEAR: That’s right, the event that happened over the last few days is the eight storm that has affected Vietnam this year, and while the brunt force of Usagi had a greater impact in countries like the Philippines and China, here in Vietnam, it’s actually built on those eight storms or the seven previous storms. So what we’re seeing is the areas in central Vietnam are actually being affected nearly every week or every few weeks, and this is causing a lot of problems such as the water logging of the land and it impacts in localised areas across the provinces.
LAM: But aid agencies are also making preparations for these coming storms, or storms later in the year. How are preparations coming along?
ANNEAR: So here in Vietnam the Red Cross has been preparing since June. We’ve been looking at predictions for this year. We’ve also been pre-positioning stock across the country. The stock including support for households afterwards, some food and some shelter materials. And for this current event what we have done is we have deployed six of our provincial response teams to undertake more detailed assessments to get a greater picture of the impact, as well as to provide some immediate relief supplies, provide some search and rescue assistance to the communities.