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Historic storm batters capital, killing two and felling trees

Update: June, 15/2015 - 08:19
A large tree fell onto the Central Institute of Drug Testing on Hai Ba Trung Street, having up a security booth with its roots from underneath.— VNA/VNS Photo Hai Anh

HA NOI (VNS) — Authorities in the capital sent out 2,000 workers and volunteers yesterday to deal with the aftermath of a powerful storm that ravaged the city on Saturday afternoon, killing two people and injuring at least five.

By yesterday afternoon, most streets were cleared of traffic jams and flooding, while street lights were also back on.

The city's traffic police recalled all personnel to direct traffic, and a force of 100 firefighters was also ordered to provide support to local residents.

More than 1,300 soldiers were also dispatched to assist with relief efforts.

After the 30 minute-storm dissipated, over 1,000 trees had been uprooted, 140 roofs had been swept away, 170 power stations were damaged and numerous buildings and vehicles destroyed.

A tree fell on a motorbike and two taxis at the intersection of Nguyen Du and Quang Trung, killing the motorbike driver, who was identified as Truong Quang Tho, aged 61, a resident of Tay Ho District.

Another fatality occurred on Minh Khai in Hai Ba Trung District, when a tree fell on Dao Thi Oanh, aged 21, who was driving an electric bike.

A large truck also overturned on the Vinh Tuy Birdge and hit the safety rail due to strong winds, causing traffic congestion.

Objects such as advertising boards and metal panels injured bystanders after being ripped off buildings by the strong winds, and many residents had to abandon their vehicles to find shelter during the storm.

Deputy General of the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting Le Thanh Hai said the wind force was estimated at 89-102kmh, the strongest seen in the capital city in the last 30 years, VnExpress reported.

Hai said it would have been impossible to warn the capital's residents as the storm formed just an hour before it hit the city with full force. He noted that such storm was extremely rare and unlikely to happen again.

The Ha Noi Electricy Company (EVN Ha Noi) said they were forced to cut power for areas in Hoan Kiem, Dong Da, Thanh Xuan, Ba Dinh, Hoang Mai, Long Bien and Tay Ho due to safety concerns.

Flooding was also reported on a number of the capital's streets after the heavy downpour during the storm.

The capital also saw brief but heavy rain last night. Strong winds and rain were expected to continue over the next few days, but without the intensity seen on Saturday. — VNS

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