October, 03 2012 09:07:43

East Sea storm threatens central region

HA NOI (VNS)— A tropical depression that appeared in the East Sea on Sunday has gained strength and is now classed as a storm, the seventh to appear this year.

The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said that at 4pm yesterday, the storm, named Gaemi, was 410km east south-east of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands.

Wind strengths of about 62-74 kilometres per hour have been recorded at the eye of the storm.

The storm has continued to gain strength while moving in an east-southward direction. It is expected to be 540km south-east of the Hoang Sa Islands with wind strength of up to 88kph today.

The centre added that during the next three days, it will possibly change direction, moving at about 5km per hour in an east or easterly east-north direction.

The storm caused strong winds and rough seas in the eastern area of the Hoang Sa islands.

Since Sunday, the central Steering Board for Flood and Storm Prevention and the National Search and Rescue Committee has been asking provinces from Quang Binh to Ba Ria-Vung Tau to warn fishing boats and take other preventative measures.

Reports to the committee showed that as of yesterday morning, more than 41,000 vessels carrying nearly 208,000 fishermen were informed about the storm.

According to the Flood Prevention Centre in central and Central Highlands regions, 634 boats with over 9,300 fishermen were in dangerous area out at sea yesterday.

Many deep sea fishing vessels have now sought shelter. Head of central Phu Yen Province's Border Army Command, Nguyen Trong Hien, said the command had guided 284 boats carrying nearly 1,900 fishermen to safety.

Last night, nearly 1,000 fishing boats from south central provinces were anchored at Hon Ro Port in central Nha Trang City.

In the island district of Truong Sa, the army has also helped organise fishing boats and provided food and fresh water to fishermen. — VNS

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