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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs   24  January 2014  

Vietnam suffers harsh climate change impacts

HCM CITY — Last year Viet Nam experienced the harshest weather conditions in five decades, climatologists told a seminar in HCM City on Thursday.

Bui Minh Tang, director of the National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Centre, said in 2013 the number of storms and tropical low pressure areas entering the East sea and hitting Viet Nam was the highest in 50 years.

The number of storms hitting the country was equal to the number in 1964 — 15 storms.

Typhoon Haiyan, which slammed into Viet Nam last year, was the most powerful ever.

Snowfall in Lao Cai, Dong Van, and Ha Giang in December was also reported to be the heaviest in 50 years. Sapa received over 30cm of snow.

Unusually, a severe cold snap which hit the north in December lasted all of 18 days.

Typhoon Podul brought heavy rain to the central region, dumping 661mm on November 15, the highest precipitation ever in a single day. The previous record was 515mm on November 12, 1938.

Summer was unusually hot in the northern region with temperatures soaring to 40 – 42 degrees Celsius.

Hail has been a frequent occurrence in recent years. Recently a severe hailstorm, thought to be the worst in history, panicked people in Lao Cai and swept away 12,000 roofs.

Luu Minh Hai, director of the Lao Cai Province Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Centre, said the cold killed 50,000 heads of cattle in the northern region, adding he had never seen such a ferocious hailstorm as the one that hit Lao Cai last year.

The changing weather patterns were being caused by the impact of climate change, experts said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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