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Tropical storm weakens after reaching central coast

Update: April, 02/2012 - 10:24

 

Trees in HCM City's Can Gio District toppled during heavy rain and strong winds as Tropical Storm Pakhar made landfall yesterday. The storm, which weakened into tropical low pressure system, also hit other central and southern provinces. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu
HA NOI — Tropical Storm Pakhar damaged houses and fields in central and southern Viet Nam yesterday, even though it weakened to a tropical low pressure as it approached the coast of central Binh Thuan and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces.

According to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, the tropical low pressure is moving west and west-northwest with speed of about 15km per hour and will soon turn into a low pressure. It is expected to be in Cambodia until 3pm today, with the strongest winds at its centre under 39km per hour.

The tropical low pressure caused strong winds ranging from Level 6 (13 metres per second) to Level 9 (21 metres per second) in areas surrounding Phan Thiet, La Gi and Vung Tau cities. Heavy rain was reported in Tuy Hoa (153mm), Phan Rang (135mm), Nha Trang (134mm) and Phu Quy Island (205mm).

In HCM City's Can Gio District, it destroyed 20 houses, sank 11 boats and uprooted 14 trees.

The storm caused one death when it hit Ninh Thuan Province's Ninh Hai District and sank one boat in Thuan Nam District's Ca Na Fishing Port yesterday morning.

Heavy rain damaged thousands of hectares of rice field in Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and Kien Giang provinces.

According to the Binh Dinh Steering Committee on Flood and Storm Prevention and Controlling, about 4,000ha of rice in the districts of Tuy Phuoc and Phu Cat were flooded.

Local authorities asked farmers to harvest their crops to ensure sufficient yield and rice quality.

However, heavy rain in southern Tien Giang Province helped reduce the risk of forest fire, which is at an alarming level in U Minh Thuong, Hon Dat, Kien Luong and Phu Quoc districts. It also provided fresh water to combat the instrusion of salt water to rice fields in the districts of Chau Thanh and Giong Rieng.

By yesterday morning, HCM City's Can Gio District had evacuated over 2,200 residents in vulnerable areas. Local authorities closed Binh Khanh Ferry Station that links Nha Be District and Can Gio District to avoid safety risks.

More than 10,000 households in Go Cong District and Tan Phu Cong District in southern Tien Giang Province were evacuated to safety before the storm made landfall.

Storm Pakhar developed from a tropical pressure system last Thursday and has been characterised as an "abnormal" storm, the first to appear before April in 40 years. — VNS

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