Updated  
November, 11 2013 09:14:00

Nation awaits wrath of storm Haiyan

A man walks among the debris of destroyed houses in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, on the eastern island of Leyte, the Philippines on Saturday. Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons on record, killed thousands of people as savage winds and giant waves flattened communities across the country, authorities said, while corpses lay amid the devastation. — AFP/VNA Photo
HA NOI (VNS)— Despite reports that super storm Haiyan was weakening as it approached the Vietnamese mainland, six people had already died before the juggernaught struck.

The residents were killed in the central region - two in Quang Nam, two in Quang Ngai, one in Quang Binh and one in Thua Thien – Hue – mostly after falling from trees or rooftops as they worked to reinforce houses before the storm hit.

In Quang Ngai Province, more than 30 people were reportedly injured and sent to hospital after tumbling from their roofs.

Quang Binh Province also reported that at least 20 people were injured while carrying out reinforcements in preparation for the typhoon.

A joint letter sent yesterday from Vietnamese State leaders to Benigno S.Aquino III, President of the Philippines said Viet Nam would offer urgent aid assistance worth US$100,000 for the affected Filipinos and would also consider other measures to provide practical support to the country within Viet Nam's means. 

According to the National Centre for Hydro – Meteorological Forecasting's report, by 8pm yesterday, the eye of the storm was 190km southeast of Thanh Hoa and Quang Ninh northern provinces. The strongest winds were recorded as reaching 118-133km per hour.

Until 8am today, the storm was moving northwest at a speed of about 30km per hour towards northern provinces, until it would weaken into a tropical depression.

After that, it was forecast that the storm would change course to a north-northeast direction, slowing to a speed of 15-20km per hour. By 7pm today, the eye of the storm would be just south of Guangxi Province in China. The strongest winds would have weakened by then to a speed of 39km per hour, the forecast said.

The National Centre for Hydro – Meteorological Forecasting warned that the coastal areas and islands in provinces from Ninh Binh to Quang Ninh needed to prepare for sea rises due to the storm and flood tides of between 3.5-4.5 metres.

Preparations

Residents of central and northern localities braced for the typhoon, the 14th to hit Viet Nam this year, as Government officials toured the provinces to inspect preparation efforts.

In northern Quang Ninh Province, about 1,000 households in Ha Long Bay and near coastal dykes have been evacuated to higher places.

Torrential rain and strong winds were forecast to strike the northern provinces from last night through to Tuesday in the wake of typhoon Haiyan.

Rain started to fall in Ha Noi yesterday. All soldiers and officials of the Capital High Command were ordered to remain on duty round the clock.

The Ha Noi Department of Education and Training sent an urgent letter of notification to schools yesterday, ordering students and staff at all schools in Ha Noi to stay at home today.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai examines storm prevention activities at Vung Ang Economic Zone in central Ha Tinh province yesterday. After lashing the Philippines and Viet Nam's central coastal region, the super typhoon Haiyan hit the north. — VNA/VNS Photo Cong Truong

In the northern port city of Hai Phong, the provincial Border Guard called 2,089 vessels ashore safely. Guidance was sent to 4,100 other fishing vessels to help the nearly 12,000 fishermen aboard quickly find refuge.

Thousands of residents in low areas were evacuated to safer places. Efforts were being made to send 6,334 people living near the coast in Tien Hai and Thai Thuy district in northern Thai Binh Province to higher ground.

Storm creates chaos

Super typhoon Haiyan approached the coast of Thua Thien - Hue Province yesterday, causing power failures and flight cancellations in the central region before turning north.

Electricity of Viet Nam announced power cuts in Binh Dinh, Quang Ngai, Quang Nam and Quang Binh provinces.

Vietnam Airlines, VietJetAir and Jestar Pacific cancelled 86 domestic flights to the central airports of Pleiku, Buon Me Thuot, Nha Trang, Tuy Hoa, Quy Nhon, Da Nang, Hue, Dong Hoi, Vinh and Thanh Hoa. All international flights to the region were also cancelled.

In Thua Thien - Hue, 330,000 people evacuated due to the storm on Saturday night returned home, happy that the storm had not caused major damages.

In Quang Tri, 118 families in Con Co island district were sent to concrete buildings to avoid the strong winds.

Authorities in Thanh Hoa Province evacuated 44,620 people in six coastal districts predicted to be most affected.

In Nghe An and Ha Tinh, schools were ordered to close today. Ha Tinh authorities moved 40,700 people from areas vulnerable to storm.

In Da Nang, local residents returned home yesterday after a one-night evacuation as super storm Haiyan did not make landfall in the city or the four central coastal provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at a meeting in Da Nang yesterday that residents in Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen could return home. However, those living on Cham Island in Quang Nam and Ly Son Island in Quang Ngai have not yet been allowed to do so, as winds remained strong yesterday. Phuc asked agencies and local provinces to keep an eye out for landslides and floods after the storm. In Quang Nam Province, thousands of people in coastal areas of Tam Ky City and Nui Thanh District also returned home yesterday.

Over 600,000 people in central coastal provinces were evacuated on Saturday, of which over 308,000 were residents of Da Nang and Quang Nam provinces. The storm caused heavy rain, which would affect 55 reservoirs with poor conditions in the Central Highlands region. — VNS

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