Hanoi, Vietnam: Technology is available for flood-mapping in Vietnam but little progress has been made due to lack of capital to pursue the project, observes Professor Nguyen Dinh Duong, head of the Institute of Geography’s Department of Environmental Information Study and Analysis, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST).
Prof. Duong pointed to the small number of existing flood maps, which had limited reliability and value, noting that no single flood forecasting map had yet been made. The higher frequency and growing intensity of flooding in recent years demanded that a tool be developed to support disaster management efforts, he added.
“It has been a great challenge to persuade local authorities, especially those in places where floods often wreak havoc, to invest in technology in general and to move flood mapping in particular up the priority list. There always seems to be more urgent things.”
Flood status maps were easier to create than flood forecast maps because the only input data required for the mapping model were the inundation areas and depths, said the director of the Hydrology and Environment Centre, La Thanh Ha. However, she added lack of topographic maps as a big obstacle in creating maps.
National Remote Sensing Centre director Nguyen Xuan Lam said remote sensing images would be of great help to flood mapping, but Viet Nam lacked its own remote sensing satellites and had to acquire images from other countries.
The country was working to build its first remote sensing satellite, which was expected to launch in 2014.