US helps Việt Nam respond to storm Linfa

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A submerged house in the central province of Quảng Bình. — VNA/VNS Văn Tý

HÀ NỘI — US Ambassador to Việt Nam Daniel J. Kritenbrink on Saturday announced an initial US$100,000 in disaster relief funds to help Việt Nam cope with the consequences of tropical storm Linfa.

These funds will be provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VNRC) to address the immediate humanitarian needs of vulnerable communities in areas most affected by the storm.

Linfa, the sixth tropical storm to have hit Việt Nam this year, made landfall in the central part of the country on October 11. Just three days later, another storm, Nangka, hit the northeastern region.

As of Thursday, heavy rains and serious flooding caused by both storms had killed at least 40 deaths, injuring 15 people, and leaving 29 people missing, according to the Vietnam Disaster Management Authority and American Red Cross.

About 150,000 people have been evacuated and transportation networks and agricultural livelihoods were seriously affected.

US Ambassador Kritenbrink said: “The US Mission in Việt Nam expresses our deepest condolences to the people of Việt Nam for the loss of life, destruction of property, and displacement of people due to the flooding in central Việt Nam. We stand together with the Government and the people of Việt Nam as they mourn their loved ones, address the damage caused by this terrible flood, and move forward, as the people of Việt Nam have always done. We pledge to assist you in your work to rebuild.

“I would also like to express my concern for persons with disabilities in the provinces affected by the typhoon as they are amongst the most vulnerable populations in this disaster. They are often home-bound, have less access to information and cannot take full advantage of preparedness activities and evacuation protocols.”

It is estimated that the provinces impacted by Tropical Storm Linfa are home to over 200,000 persons with disabilities, of whom 61,000 persons with disabilities are directly affected by this disaster.

Since 2000, USAID, through the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, has provided more than $26 million in disaster response, preparedness, and risk reduction assistance in Việt Nam.

Through the Department of Defense, the U.S. Government has also provided more than $28 million since 1998 to train military and civilian emergency responders and develop and equip disaster management centers, maritime response centers, and disaster shelters at the community level. — VNS

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