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VN braces for typhoon Kalmaegi

Update: September, 17/2014 - 08:41
Typhoon Kalmaegi made landfall in Quang Ninh yesterday. Northern provinces were preparing for landslides and floods caused by the typhoon. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Cong Hai

HA NOI (VNS) — Typhoon Kalmaegi brought heavy rain and strong winds to the Tonkin Gulf and Viet Nam's northern coastal provinces yesterday evening.

The Central Meteorology Hydrology Forecast Centre said winds of 118-133km per hour were recorded on Hai Phong City's Bach Long Vi Island and Quang Ninh Province's Co To Island.

Coastal localities from Hai Phong to Nam Dinh were also affected.

Kalmaegi is predicted to reach the northern mountains in Laos at about 4pm today, but winds should be below 39 km per hour.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday asked local authorities, ministries and agencies to evacuate residents in low-lying areas, and help vessels anchor safely.

Northern localities prepared for typhoon Kalmaegi ("seagull" in Korean) before it made landfall on northern Hai Phong City and Quang Ninh Province..

Residents living in mountainous areas with high risks of landslides and flash floods were evacuated, while fishermen were ordered to quickly go ashore or find the nearest safe anchorage.

In Quang Ninh, secretary of the provincial Party Committee Pham Minh Chinh said that all 249 offshore fishing vessels were required to come ashore before 4pm yesterday and 8,482 fishing vessels near shore were banned from fishing after noon. Residents raising fish or shrimp in around 7,600 aquaculture cages were evacuated.

In Hai Phong City, authorities mobilised nearly 40,000 soldiers and militia to prepare for search and rescue efforts and reinforce the dyke system in order to prevent floods.

Tran Xuan Hoang, deputy head of the provincial Sub-committee on Marine Fisheries Safety, said that all fishing vessels came ashore by 9am yesterday. Authorised agencies also helped local farmers harvest summer-autumn rice before the storm hit.

In Thai Binh, 8,000 people who raised oysters near the sea, worked at aquaculture farms or lived in dangerous areas were evacuated by noon yesterday.

Nguyen Minh Tien, vice chairman of the People's Committee of northern mountainous Ha Giang Province, said all evacuations would be finished by 5pm yesterday and the committee had ordered all forces to make emergency preparations.

Warnings for Ha Noi and mountainous provinces

Ha Noi is forecast to be inundated this morning by hours of torrential rain that could reach 300mm, said director of the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Hoang Duc Cuong.

Torrential rains were also predicted to shower northern provinces with rainfall reaching 250mm or even 400mm in mountainous provinces. Ten northern mountainous provinces such as Lang Son, Tuyen Quang, Ha Giang, Yen Bai, Dien Bien and Son La were put on high alert for landslides and flash floods during the storm.

Rough seas were expected in the northern part of the Bac Bo (Tonkin) Gulf, including island districts of Bach Long Vy, Co To, Cat Hai and Van Don, with strong winds and waves reaching six metres in height. After making landfall, the storm was expected to weaken into a tropical low-pressure system. — VNS

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