Typhoon Doksuri is one of many severe tropical cyclones that have taken plight in recent months, in both the Atlantic and Pacific regions. Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria have attracted global social media coverage and attention, with much of the content focusing on urban planning, politics, and the perennial question of climate change. However, where is the news outlet when it comes to Southeast Asia’s tropical disasters?
Typhoon Doksuri came into central Vietnam on September 16, also being known as the most powerful storm in a decade to hit the country. There were more than 193,000 properties that were damaged, with 11,000 properties being flooded. Four people remain missing, and the total damage has been estimated at VND 11.3 trillion (US$ 496 million). Farmlands, roads, water, and electricity infrastructures suffered widespread damage. This video highlights the Quang Binh and Ha Tinh provinces bearing the weight of the damage.
Luckily, many lives were saved with evacuations that were planned with the help of the news forecast. About 250 mm of rainfall was delivered by Typhoon Doksuri, which spared the entire central region from severe flooding. According to Bangkok Post, Thailand is now experiencing the severe flooding that Vietnam dodged. The limited national disaster data on Vietnam, however, does not allow a qualitative analysis of risk. Many researchers are working on developing more flood mitigation measures for the country.
Vietnam’s rapid population growth, industrial development, and agricultural expansion have all increased flood risk, especially within Vietnam’s riverine and coastal areas. Socially marginalised people often had to live in flood-prone places, due to forced displacement. As a result, tropical storms have a disproportionately larger effect on Vietnam’s poorer communities. A storm like Typhoon Doksuri has brought suffering to a region where 30-50% of people are already in poverty. Marginalised groups in Vietnam have faced even greater difficulty due to the lack of access to public resources, such as emergency relief and insurance. Affected households have received limited financial support from the local government, and many will depend solely on charity for their recovery.
Many non-profit charities in Vietnam have already held charity events to raise aid for their victims, such as PetroVietnam and the Vietnam Red Cross Society. If you would like to make an effort to raise money to help individuals in Vietnam, here are a few of the many ways you can help:
With her driving passion of health sciences, Jullianne aims to provide service, research, and education towards Asian-American communities in order to close the gap of health disparities that people of color face. She has worked alongside physicians and surgeons in the San Joaquin County as a Decision Medicine Intern, and has worked closely with the Vietnamese-American community in the Bay Area to raise awareness about unspoken diseases as a Community Health Outreach Intern at the Asian Liver Center of Stanford University. As an aspiring Physician Assistant with a concentrated service within the Asian-American community, Jullianne hopes to discuss and expose the unspoken diseases and health issues that do not create dialogue within the Vietnamese household and community.