Vietnam TV station chief suspended for lack of typhoon updates

TN News

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The state radio and television stations in the northern province of Thai Binh failed to inform people about a recent typhoon, and its director has paid the price for it.

Vu Anh Thao has been suspended for 15 days since June 23 pending an investigation into his responsibility in the affair.

Cao Thi Hai, vice chairwoman of the provincial government, said when leaders went around to meet people after Typhoon Bebinca made landfall, people said they did not know about the storm and were not prepared.

"It is lucky the typhoon did not directly hit the province, or the consequences would have been severe," she said.

In nearby Nghe An Province, one woman was killed and two boys are missing.

In Thai Binh, some dykes were eroded and 2,500 hectares of aquaculture farms were damaged by flooding, causing losses of VND250 billion (US$11.88 million).

Hai said Thao was directly in charge of providing information about floods and storms and prevention and rescue efforts.

But when the typhoon hit on the morning of June 23 Thao was busy chairing a regular meeting with the TV station's reporters.

He sent his deputies to attend an emergency meeting of the province Steering Committee for Flood and Typhoon Fighting, but they failed to report either.

Bebinca was the second typhoon to hit Vietnam this year, and it caused severe damage to paddy fields and tourism spots in northern coastal areas like Hai Phong and the neighboring Quang Ninh Province.

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