|Fishermen at Gio Hai Commune in central Quang Tri Province's Gio Linh District brought their boats ashore before tropical storm Nari hit. The storm was due to make landfall overnight, the deputy director of the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, Le Thanh Hai, said yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Ho Cau
DA NANG (VNS)— Central Da Nang City and the provinces of Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam are expected to be in the centre of Viet Nam's 11th storm this year.
The storm was due to make landfall overnight, the deputy director of the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, Le Thanh Hai, said yesterday.
Hai said the eye of the storm could bring maximum wind speeds of up to 134-166km/h.
By 7pm yesterday the eye of the storm was 170km far from the coastline of Quang Tri – Quang Ngai provinces, with wind speeds ranging from 118 to 149km per hour.
Rainfall of between 400-600mm was predicted for Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Thua Thien-Hue.
Storm waves on top of flood tides are expected to raise sea levels by 3.5 metres in Da Nang city and 3m in Quang Nam province.
Hai warned that landslides could be serious in mountainous areas in Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Kon Tum and Gia Lai provinces.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat, who is the head of the central committee for storm and flood prevention, said the storm was likely to be stronger than earlier storms this month.
Yesterday he urged people to seek shelter in concrete houses or higher land before nightfall.
He also ordered reservoirs at hydro-power plants to discharge water early before there were overflows.
According to the Storm and Flood Prevention and Rescue Centre's Central and Central Highlands Office, 19,000 fishing vessels with 47,000 fishermen on board have taken refuge in the provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai.
The staff of Military Zones 5 and 4 have prepared forces, vehicles and equipment to help rescue those endangered by the storm.
Helicopters and ships from the Air Force and Navy have been put on high alert to rescue people in danger.
Around 44,500 offshore fishing vessels in provinces stretching from Quang Binh to Khanh Hoa have been informed about the progress of the storm and told to find safe harbour by 6am this morning to avoid rough seas.
The local authorities of provinces from Quang Binh to Quang Nam have made plans to evacuate nearly 38,500 local households based in vulnerable areas.
The central city of Da Nang planned to move 50,000 people in Hoa Vang and Lien Chieu districts in case floods and landslides occur in the lower area of the city.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday sent an urgent message to coastal central localities to order authorised agencies to take proper action to minimise damage from the coming storm.
In a related move, Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai yesterday asked the Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control to set up two inspection teams to go to the central provinces and assist local agencies limit the damage of the storm.
Around 600ha of autumn-winter rice crop that was ready for harvest were damaged by flooding following an embankment breach in the Mekong Province of An Giang last weekend.
Nguyen Van Van, chairman of the Vinh Phuoc People's Committee said 100 locals were mobilised to reinforce the embankment but it was in vain.
Floodwaters from the upper sections of the Mekong continue to flow downriver, he said.— VNS