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Vietnam Loses 1.5% of GDP Annually to Natural Disasters: Environment Ministry

2020 will surely go down as one of the costliest years in recent memory.

SGGP reports that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has estimated that natural disasters cut 1.5% of Vietnam's GDP every year.

This figure is only expected to increase in the future due to the impacts of climate change and rising sea levels. That latter problem will particularly challenge areas of Quang Ninh Province, Saigon, and provinces along the central coast, which will see huge tracts of land consumed by the sea as the decades the progress.

The Mekong Delta is even more vulnerable, with 35% of the region's almost 20 million people expected to be directly impacted by rising sea levels by 2100, while over 40% of rice output could be lost.

Over the last two months, numerous tropical storms have slammed into Vietnam, and these natural phenomena are expected to grow stronger and more frequent in the future as the earth continues to warm.

Storm Molave, which made landfall in late October as the strongest storm in decades, caused US$430 million in damage, while landslides have wiped out rural communities and coastal areas have been battered by storm surges and strong waves.

Natural disasters only caused US$302 million worth of damage in 2019, but this was something of an anomaly, as the figure for 2018 was US$858 million, and the cost of Molave alone is higher than all of last year's number.