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Deputy PM calls for evacuation plans as tropical storm nears

Update: July, 16/2014 - 09:51

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked flood-prone localities to devise evacuation plans and reinforce resident and public infrastructure to cope with typhoon Rammasun. — VNA Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked flood-prone localities to devise evacuation plans and reinforce resident and public infrastructure to cope with typhoon Rammasun.

At a meeting of the Central Steering Committee on Flood and Storm Prevention and Control yesterday, Hai directed ministries, agencies and localities to closely monitor Rammasun's developments in the East Sea and to come up with effective prevention plans.

He asked border guards to contact offshore fishing vessels and get them to return or seek out nearby storm shelters.

"The situation seems to be much more serious than previous storms. Our previous plans for coping with storms is not compatible with super storms anymore. We need to have another plan in place," he said.

He said the storm could potentially be the first storm this year to make landfall in Viet Nam.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam-PVN) have been urged to ensure the safety of workers at offshore oil platforms, while the Ministry of Transport has been urged to oversee traffic during the storm.

Vice General Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Developments' Water Resources Directorate Nguyen Xuan Dieu expressed concern about potential landslides and flooding in mountainous and urban areas, including Ha Noi. A plan to facilitate water drainage was needed, said Dieu.

Rammasun, which is currently battering the Philippines, is expected to move into the East Sea today, becoming the second storm to hit the region and the first to strike Viet Nam this year.

The storm is expected to change course and become more severe, bringing heavy rains and causing rough swells in large areas of the East Sea.

The storm is expected to hit Viet Nam's northern and central coasts on Saturday and dump rains of up to 300mm on coastal provinces.

Offshore vessels warned

About 33,200 fishing vessels had received notice of tropical storm Rammasun by yesterday morning.

The message was broadcasted after Vu Xuan Thanh, deputy chief of National Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control's Office signed an urgent message to send to coastal localities stretching from Quang Ninh to Ba Ria–Vung Tau on Monday afternoon.

Thanh instructed the localities to quickly inform offshore fishermen about the direction and development of the storm to allow fishermen to head for safety.

The localities were also asked to prepare rescue teams and facilities for emergencies, he said.

The storm was reported nearing the Philippines' central coast yesterday, moving west at 20km per hour and expected to cause rough swell in the eastern part of the East Sea yesterday at midnight.

The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting said the eye of the storm would be located about 380km east of Viet Nam's Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago, with winds reaching up to 133km per hour at around 1pm tomorrow. — VNS

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