Time race for early forecast of landslides

Trường Lăng

June 9, 2022


Time race for early forecast of landslides

Trường Lăng

June 9, 2022

In October 2020, serious landslides were caused by rain and floods in many places of the Central region, including 3 landslides causing major casualties at Rao Trang 3 hydropower plant (Thua Thien-Hue), in Quang Tri and at Tra Leng (Quang Nam). Dozens of people, including the residents, workers at the hydropower plant, officials and soldiers in the rescue team were buried. Moreover, many villages were completely buried.

Time race for early, accurate forecast is the optimal solution to minimize loss and casualties.

Loss of 1-1.5% of GDP per year due to natural disasters

Reported the Department of Natural Disaster Response and Remedy (General Department of Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), Vietnam is one of the five nations which have been most affected by natural disasters and climate change with the occurrence of 21/22 types of natural disasters, excluding tsunamis. Especially, storms, floods, flash floods, landslides and droughts have been increasing in intensity and frequency.

For over the past 20 years, more than 400 people dead or missing, and material damage of about 1-1.5% of GDP (2.2% as reported by the International Water Institute) have been average caused by annual natural disaster.

Landslide in Tra Leng

Natural disasters occur stronger and more often in Vietnam. Number of very strong storms increased, although the total number of storms are unchanged. Number of days of extreme cold and harmful cold tends to decrease in the North, etc…

Typically, 778 people died, 2,123 people missing during typhoon Linda in November 1997, wind gusts at 9, 10. Then, 729 people died and missing, 544 people were injured, 52,583 houses, 570 schools collapsed and drifted; more than 1 million houses were flooded; 3,000 km of roads was damaged; total damage was estimated at VND 4,133 billion during the two floods in 1999 including heavy rain, pipe floods, flash floods in mountainous areas, landslides and floods.

60 people died and missing; 350 people were injured; 650 houses collapsed and swept away; economic losses of more than VND 11,000 etc. during flash floods and landslides in Quang Nam province in 2020

In 2020, the total number of 357 people killed and missing, economic losses up to VND 39,945 was caused by natural disasters. This is the year of natural disasters took place irregularly, abnormally, fiercely… Especially, from mid-September to mid-November 2020, storms and floods occurred consecutively in the central region with very strong intensity, on a large scale, causing the great damage to people and property, severely affect the life and production of millions of residents in the area.

Particularly, 13 storms in the East Sea hit the whole nation; 264 thunderstorms, whirlwinds, heavy rain hit 49 provinces and cities, of which 9 waves hit almost 21 provinces and cities in the North and the Central Vietnam; 120 floods, flash floods, landslides occurred; especially the historic heavy rain from October 6 to 22 in the Central region; 86 earthquakes, including 2 earthquakes with natural disaster risk level 4 (in Muong Te, Lai Chau on June 16 with the magnitude of 4.9; in Moc Chau, Son La on July 27 with the magnitude 5.3); drought, severe saltwater intrusion, riverbank and coast erosion, sea dyke subsidence occurred in the Mekong Delta…

Landslide buried whole village in Quang Nam

In 2021, 841 natural disasters occurred nationwide with 18/22 types; in which, the East Sea was experienced storms and tropical depressions. In particular, from September to November, provinces and cities in the Central region were influenced by 4 consecutive storms and 6 large-scale floods. 108 people dead, missing, and 95 people injured estimated loss value of more than VND 5,200 billion caused by various types of natural disasters

AI application for landslide alert

Reported the General Department of Hydrometeorology, Vietnam still uses the superimposing method of the actual rain distribution map to alert flash floods and landslides, forecast the risk of flash floods, the risk of landslides on the maps, the administrative map, the map of rivers and streams, the land cover, topographic map.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is assigning the specialized agencies to carry out the Project on Investigation, Evaluation and Zoning for alerting the risk of landslides and rockfalls in the mountainous areas of Vietnam.

Another important solution is the application of AI artificial intelligence in the field of hydrometeorology.

The General Department of Hydrometeorology is engaging in the construction of The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s shared digital platform with the following contents: building the data integration system based on Big data, especially AI application in device learning and identification to resolve the specific problems in the field of hydrometeorological monitoring and forecasting.

AI research and application suitable to the industry’s specific problems: AI application in storm forecasting, heavy rain quantification and storm surge forecasting are the key research plans; improving the detailed level and reliability of rain forecasting products by various solutions from using high-resolution models, to maximizing the monitoring data of weather radars, meteorological satellites, especially the mountainous provinces.

The General Department also effectively applied the survey products on zoning the places with the risk of flash floods and landslides to set up the detailed real-time flash flood and landslide warning maps to the district and commune levels, with the alerting levels ranging from the low risk to the very high risk.

In order to apply AI on alerting flash floods and landslides, it is necessary to obtain the big interdisciplinary data source (Big data) not only on geotechnical data but also data on geology, vegetation cover, construction… In addition, it is necessary to integrate high-resolution remote sensing data and analytical information from flying devices, taken from above for the high-risk areas.

Early alert to minimize losses.

In 2021, the General Department of Meteorology and Hydrology synthesized, analyzed, and standardized the layers of component base maps and current status maps, zoning maps on the risk of flash floods and landslides for 22 provinces (340 map pieces, scale: 1:50,000); the General Department of Meteorology and Hydrology synthesized, analyzed, and standardized the layers of component base maps and current status maps of flash floods and landslides in 6 key communes (quantity: 32 map pieces, scale 1:10,000, current layer of flash floods).

In 2022, this agency will complete the target of matching the layers of cover, topographic, administrative, and land use maps from 340 pieces into 22 provinces; this agency will standardize more data fields into 4 new layers (cover carpet, topography, administrative boundaries, flash flood status); set up the thresholds for flash floods and landslides, analyze rain data; set up the flash flood alerting software.

Tran Hong Thai, the General Director said that the project’s overall target is to proactively prevent landslides and flash floods, create conditions for socio-economic stability and development, and prevent natural disasters in the mountainous areas, the midlands, contribute to the assurance of the national defense and security.

“Early forecast of landslides helps reducing loss of people and property caused by natural disasters,” said Tran Hong Thai, the General Director of the General Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.

Source : VietNam.Net

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