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Tropical storm forecast to hit central region

Update: September, 30/2013 - 08:48
The central region is braced for Storm Wutip, which is forecast to cause heavy damage today.

HA NOI (VNS)— Wutip, the strongest storm to hit the Central region since 2006, is forecast to make landfall from Ha Tinh to Quang Tri today, according to the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecast Centre.

By 7 pm, the eye of the storm is predicted to reach the provinces' mainland with wind speeds ranging between 90-100km per hour.

The storm caused heavy rain and strong winds that battered Northern and Central provinces since last night. Coastal provinces from Nghe An to Da Nang were warned to prepare for sea water to rise three to four metres.

The storm is forecast to move northwest in the next 24-48 hours at 15-20km/hr before fading to become a tropical depression. The depression is expected to reach the north of Thailand tomorrow with wind speed dropping to 39km per hour.

At an urgent meeting held yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai urged all affected provinces to take preventive measures, such as relocating people living in areas where there was a high risk of floods and landslides before 10am and mobilising available forces to help harvest crops.

Hai assigned regional ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Industry and Trade to regulate water release in local reservoirs to prevent flooding.

Local officers help residents strengthen their houses to cope with the Wutip typhoon in the central province of Quang Tri's Trieu An District. — VNA/VNS Photo Ho Cau

On the same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made an official request to chairmen of provincial and municipal People's Committees to co-operate with agencies to prepare for the typhoon.

Calling for authorities to minimise property damage and the loss of human life, the PM instructed authorities alert offshore vessels for return, and plan to evacuate residents from dangerous areas if needed.

He also stressed ensuring the safety of reservoirs and for pupils in localities affected by the storm to be kept home from school.

Authorities in central provinces prepared to evacuate local people if necessary and called on all fishing vessels operating offshore to quickly find anchorage.

Vice Chairman of Thua Thien-Hue Province's People's Committee Le Truong Luu estimated more than 11,500 people would be evacuated.

The province, which expects up to 400mm of rain, will also focus on regulating water release at local reservoirs. More than 1,800 vessels in the province found safe harbour.

In Quang Tri Province, all fishing vessels were anchored and plans were in place to evacuate residents of high-risk areas such as Huong Hoa and Dakrong, according to Nguyen Van Bai, Deputy Head of the Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control and Search and Rescue. — VNS


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