The hardships of hydro-meteorologists

(VOVworld) – The prerequisite for a reliable weather forecast is collecting accurate data on wind, clouds, and rainfall. These are the daily work of hydro-meteorological observers at Vietnam’s hydro-meteorological stations. Collection of the data can be very difficult, especially in remote areas.

The hardships of hydro-meteorologists - ảnh 1
Nguyen Huy Hoang, head of Dau Dang Hydrological Station. (Photo: Van Anh/VOV)

From Ba Be National Park in Bac Kan province you must continue 11 kilometers up the river to reach the Dau Dang Hydrological Station in Ban Cam village. Located at the riverhead of the Nang River, a tributary of Ba Be Lake, Dau Dang Hydrological Station is in charge of monitoring the amount of water in the lake. It assists flood control operations for the lower section of the Lo River but it hasn’t been connected to the national electricity grid. Power generators are used to transmit the data recorded throughout the day.

Nguyen Huy Hoang, head of the station, said each month they are given an allowance of just 20 liters of gasoline for their work.

“With no outside electricity and the river as our main transportation route, living conditions for the staff here are very hard. When floods come and the water level gets high, we still have to go out to take measurements. The five of us take turns being on duty around the clock. The more severe the flood is, the more we must do our job despite the danger,” Hoang explained in details.

Hydro-meteorologists, especially those working in remote mountain regions, often face hardships. They must accept a restricted social life and the pressure to take regular measurements of cloud, sun, rain, wind, water, and temperature and transmit the data at any costs. When the weather is changing rapidly, hydro-meteorologists must work 14 to16 hours a day.

The hardships of hydro-meteorologists - ảnh 2
Tran Quoc Hung, Director of the Thai Nguyen Hydro-Meteorological Station.
(Photo: Van Anh/VOV)

Tran Quoc Hung, Director of the Thai Nguyen Hydro-Meteorological Station, said: “The infrastructure of the Thai Nguyen Hydro-meteorological Station and other stations in the province is deteriorating. Our office, for example, was built in 1982 and hasn’t been repaired or upgraded since then. We lack the human resources we need to implement the Law on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control and the Law on Hydro-meteorology. Five people do all the work - forecasting, observing, reporting, doing administration, and guarding the station. We hope we’ll soon be assigned more personnel.”

The hardships of hydro-meteorologists - ảnh 3
Le Thanh Hai, Deputy Director General of the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting. (Photo: Van Anh/VOV)

Le Thanh Hai, Deputy Director General of the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, said the government and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment are looking for ways to improve the working and living condition of employees.

Hai added: “The government and the Ministry have paid special attention to job allowances for remote areas. Deteriorating stations like the Cho Ra Meteorological Station will be rebuilt. Pursuant to the Prime Minister’s decision on the master plan for national natural resources and environment monitoring to 2020, hydro-meteorological stations will be automated. This means the sector’s workforce will be reduced."


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