HANOI, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) — The first two typhoons that hit Vietnam so far in 2016 have caused damage worth more than 6.7 trillion Vietnamese dong (some 300 million U.S. dollars), according to Vietnam's Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD) on Tuesday.
Typhoons Mirinae and Nida hit the country in late July and early August respectively, leaving 20 people dead and missing, injuring 82 others, Vietnam's state-run news agency VNA on Tuesday cited the ministry as saying.
Typhoon Mirinae flooded nearly 256,000 hectares of agricultural land in the affected localities, according to MARD.
More than 31,000 power poles fell across affected localities, causing power disruption. Damages to the electricity sector were estimated at about 384 billion Vietnamese dong (17 million U.S. dollars), according to MARD.
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said the main reason for huge losses was shortcomings in weather forecasting.
Vietnam's northern Ninh Binh province was one among localities that were heavily struck by Typhoon Mirinae, but it was not included in an emergency meeting of 12 northern coastal localities where the forecasting center predicted the typhoon would hit, reported the Central Steering Committee on Disaster Prevention's Office.
MARD Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that disaster forecasting needs improvement, both in equipment as well as personnel training. Meanwhile, international cooperation should also be strengthened for more reliable forecasts.