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Vladimir Putin pledges $5mn in humanitarian aid following floods

Released at: 19:25, 08/11/2017

Vladimir Putin pledges $5mn in humanitarian aid following floods

Photo from vietnamnet.vn

Assistance to come in wake of devastating storms and flooding last weekend.

by Quang Huy

Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed his government to render humanitarian assistance to Vietnam, the Kremlin said in a statement on November 7.

The instruction came following President Putin’s discussions with the Russian Prime Minister, emergencies minister, and finance minister regarding the situation in Vietnam, which was devastated by Typhoon Damrey last weekend.

An Il-76 aircraft is already preparing to leave for Vietnam with humanitarian aid, and President Putin has issued instructions to provide $5 million in financial assistance to the country.

He also expressed his hope that other APEC member economies attending the APEC Summit this week will also show solidarity with the Vietnamese people, the Kremlin said.

Typhoon Damrey, which made landfall in central Vietnam on November 4, and subsequent floods and landslides killed at least 89 people while 18 others are still missing. It has also destroyed more than 1,300 houses, damaged nearly 115,000 houses, and sunk or damaged nearly 1,300 fishing boats.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired an emergency meeting on the disaster. Ministers said that because some dams were so full, water might need to be released to relieve pressure - potentially worsening flooding downstream.

In Da Nang, authorities called on soldiers and local people to clean up so that the central city would be ready for delegates attending APEC meetings, which began on November 6.

Da Nang, which will host President Putin and other world leaders attending the APEC Summit, including US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, was spared the worst of the damage. However, heavy rain has still flooded nearly 11,000 houses in Hoa Vang district, forcing more than 300 households to evacuate and causing around VND44 billion ($1.94 million) in damage.

Leaders are due to meet from November 10 and organizers said the schedule had not been disrupted because of the weather.

But in much of the ancient town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that spouses of APEC leaders are scheduled to visit on November 11, muddy waters rose to head height and people boated through the streets.

The storm moved from the coastal area into a key coffee-growing region of the world’s biggest producer of Robusta coffee beans. The typhoon damaged some coffee trees at the start of the harvest season, farm officials said. But farmers in Dak Lak province, the heart of the region, said the damage was limited.

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