|Fishing boats docked in Da Nang to avoid Storm Hagupit. Hagupit will be the fifth tropical storm to hit the East Sea this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Le Tran Lam
DA NANG (VNS) — The Central and Central Highlands Flood and Storm Prevention Centre had warned over 35,000 fishing vessels of the impending Storm Hagupit in the coastal provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan as of yesterday.
Hagupit will be the fifth tropical storm to hit the East Sea this year, but it weakened to a tropical low pressure front after making landfall in the south central region last night, according to the latest report yesterday.
Earlier, some 31,800 vessels and 131,395 fishermen were safely docked or on their way to port with the storm 240km north of the Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago. Wind speeds in the area were recorded at 75-88km per hour at around 4am yesterday morning.
The centre has made radio contact with 171 boats working in the Truong Sa and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos, as well as over 3,100 ships off the coast of Quang Ninh and Kien Giang.
However, the centre has been unable to contact fishing boat BD 96972TS and its seven crew from Binh Dinh Province who were fishing in a dangerous area.
The centre lost radio contact with the boat after its communications equipment was turned off at 6am yesterday morning.
Mountainous areas from Quang Ngai to Ninh Thuan have been put on high alert for flash floods and landslides in upstream and low land areas.
Rainfall of between 96-150mm has been measured over the last three days in Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh, and water levels in rivers from Quang Tri to Ninh Thuan were still rising yesterday morning.
Eighteen irrigation reservoirs in Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa also spilled over on Wednesday.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat yesterday ordered the central provinces of Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan to be on full alert for Storm Hagupit.
He inspected the localities' preparations and asked authorities to evacuate vulnerable areas, tighten control over vessels and step up communications to inform the community of the risks.
The same day, the Steering Board for Flood and Storm Prevention and Search and Rescue in Ben Tre Province sent an urgent notice instructing relevant agencies to brace for the typhoon.
Nearly 1,500 vessels operating at sea had been notified of the typhoon and more than 700 vessel had taken refuge, it said.
Earlier, it swept across the Philippines, claiming at least 27 lives. — VNS