October, 01 2011 08:50:00

Typhoon Nesat wreaks havoc in coastal areas

Red Cross staff help local fishermen anchor their vessels in Thai Thuy District in northern Thai Binh Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Tuan

Red Cross staff help local fishermen anchor their vessels in Thai Thuy District in northern Thai Binh Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Tuan

HA NOI — Typhoon Nesat wreaked havoc in some northern coastal provinces before weakening into a low pressure system yesterday.

No casualties were reported after the typhoon made landfall over the northern region of Quang Ninh and Hai Phong yesterday afternoon, but strong winds and heavy downpours resulted in significant property losses, the National Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control said.

An initial report from the first storm-hit Quang Ninh Province showed that after three hours of battering, the roofs had been blown from nearly 300 houses, 11 vessels were lost and 1,700ha of subsidiary crops were submerged.

In the most affected areas, including Van Don and Co To island districts and Cam Pha District, low-lying households endured waist-deep flood waters. About 90 households were promptly evacuated.

Estimates indicate losses of up to VND50 billion (US$2.4 million).

In Thai Binh, 3,268 low-lying households were evacuated while Tuyen Quang Province spent VND9.8 billion ($470,000) to move 486 households in landslide-prone areas to safety.

Students in the affected areas were given the day off school as a safety precaution while students in Thanh Hoa Province were given two days off to help their families harvest rice.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai made site visits to check on sea dyke systems in Do Son and Kien Thuy districts in Hai Phong City.

He asked the localities to do their best to assure the safety of people and property.

At least 10 domestic flights were cancelled by Vietnam Airlines due to bad weather. Four trains between Ha Noi and Hai Phong City were also cancelled. Flights are scheduled to resume today.

Rainfall is expected to continue in Ha Noi during the weekend.

In the south, serious floods have claimed the lives of eight people in the Mekong Delta and forced thousands to leave their homes.

Four of the victims were in An Giang Province, one was in Dong Thap Province and two children and one adult perished in Can Tho City.

The hardest hit province was An Giang, where nearly 3,500 households were flooded and about 100 other households needed to be evacuated quickly.

About 3,500ha of rice were destroyed, dozens of tonnes of fish were swept away and 100km of roadways were submerged.

In Can Tho City, more than 320 households and dozens of kilometres of roadways were inundated. Dong Thap Province suffered the same situation.

Le Thanh Hai, deputy director of the National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Centre, said Nalgae, the third storm in days, with a wind speed of 149kph, would approach the East Sea today. — VNS

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