|Serious damages caused by the cyclonic storm Nari in the central Da Nang Province. Five people have been reported dead, three are missing and another 39 injured after the eleventh storm reached the Central region yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuan
CENTRAL REGION (VNS) — The Central region has been hit by another cyclonic storm, Nari, only a fortnight after being devastated by Storm Wutip.
Five people have been reported dead, three are missing and another 39 injured.
More than a 1,000 plane passengers have been stranded at airports in the region and a similar number of foreign tourists moved to safety from coastal resorts.
Nari is the eleventh storm to reach Viet Nam this year.
The Central Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Rescue yesterday afternoon said Nari ripped across the central provinces of Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai.
Three people were killed in Quang Nam at the height of the storm and two children swept away by strong seas in Thua Thien Hue's Phu Loc District.
Da Nang City and Quang Nam Province received the full brunt of the winds. In Da Nang, trees, electricity poles and billboards were smashed to the ground in many streets, including Bach Dang, Ba Thang Hai, Le Duan, Dong Da, Ton Duc Thang and Nguyen Van Linh.
The storm also tore off many roofs and smashed windows in high-rise buildings.
In Quang Nam, the storm severely damaged more than 5,000 houses in Hoi An, Tam Ky, Dien Ban, Nui Thanh, Duy Xuyen and Tien Phuoc. It also sank 45 boats.
Many roadside trees were uprooted in urban areas and hundreds of hectares of rubber trees in mountain areas were destroyed.
Thua Thien Hue and Quang Tri provinces, severely hit by Storm Wutip, suffered again under Nari. The roofs of about 200 houses in Phu Loc District in Thua Thien Hue were blown away.
In Quang Tri, many houses repaired after being damaged by Wutip were severely damaged again as Nari struck.
In Quang Ngai's Ly Son island district, the storm damaged 100 houses, ruined 350ha of vegetables, and sank 31 boats.
All schools in Thua Thien Hue, Da Nang, and Quang Nam shut down for two days.
Blackouts affected all of Da Nang City and Quang Nam Province. In Thua Thien Hue, only the municipal centre in Hue continued to be supplied with power. Many districts in Quang Tri also went without electricity.
Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) has mobilised resources to reconnect the region to the national power grid after a failure on the 500kV power line.
EVN said yesterday it it was able to supply only 31 per cent of the region's needs.
During the storm yesterday, all road travel was banned between Hue and Da Nang. Two trains were halted in Hue until conditions eased.
For the past two days, all flights to Da Nang Airport and Hue's Phu Bai Airport were cancelled. Vietnam Airlines postponed 44 flights from Ha Noi, Hai Phong, and HCM City to Da Nang and Hue.
VietJetAir and Jetstar Pacific also cancelled flights to Central region airports. Passengers were forced to sleep in airports until conditions improved.
The storm hit the tourism sector in Hue, Hoi An and Da Nang hard. Hoi An authorities had to excavate 1,200 guests lodged in coastal resorts to safe areas.
The old town of Hoi An was brought to a standstill by severe deep flood waters which swirled down streets, covering cars and filling shops in many streets.
Scenes of trees and plants in the hotels and resorts were all ruined because of the storm.
To reserve space for torrential rains, reservoirs in the region were directed to release water, which exacerbated flood conditions in lower regions.
Water levels in the Vu Gia and Thu Bon rivers in Quang Nam Province rose to critical level three as water rushed down from Dak Mi 4 power-plant's reservoir.
In Thua Thien Hue, floods on the Huong and Bo Rivers also reached level three, lifting water height from 0.3m to 0.8m in many areas in Hue City, Phong Dien and Quang Dien districts.
Floods also isolated 100 households in Lang Co Town.
High sea levels created two new sea entrances along the Hai Duong coast in Huong Tra District.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat ordered the gradual release of further water from the reservoir to ease the situation.
EVN closed 10 power plants in the region at the height of the storms.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung directed localities and agencies yesterday to ensure the safety of reservoirs across the country.
At present, there are nearly 7,000 reservoirs, many of which belong to hydro-power plants. However, most of them, especially those located at small and mid-sized hydro-power plants, were built 30-40 years ago and are vulnerable to degradation.
The PM asked various ministries and local authorities to improve the quality of planning and developing reservoirs.
The operators and local authorities were asked to take drastic measures, including releasing water at the reservoirs and quickly informing people and authorities to avoid losses caused by flood.
Nari – the eleventh storm to hit Viet Nam this year – made landfall in the Central region yesterday morning.
The Netherlands support victims of Storm Wutip
The Netherlands donated VND4.3 billion (US$204,000) to support Wutip victims in Viet Nam's central region on Monday.
Dutch Ambassador Joop Scheffers handed over a symbolical cheque with the amount to the Viet Nam Red Cross President Nguyen Hai Duong.
Hundreds of overseas Vietnamese people in the UK donated over 18,200 GBP (US$29,000 USD) to help the storm victims.
The funds were raised at a gathering on Sunday at New Saigon restaurant in London, as well as a charitable auction held by the Vietnamese Embassy.
On Monday the northern province of Bac Ninh launched a drive to support Wutip victims and poor people.
Organisations and individuals in attendance contributed over VND418 million ($19,646) while more than 60 agencies, units and businesses committed over VND3.7 billion ($176,000).
Typhoon Wutip, the tenth storm this year, caused central provinces to suffer VND11 trillion (US$523.8 million) in losses last month. The storm killed 14 people and injured 225. — VNS