HÀ NỘI — The tropical storm, which developed from a low-pressure system yesterday afternoon near the East Sea, will bring torrential rains with rainfall up to 500mm for localities in the north and central region from this afternoon until Saturday.
The storm is forecasted to make landfall near coastal areas from Quảng Ninh Province to Nghệ An Province on Friday.
The latest update from the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting yesterday afternoon said that at 2 pm, the eye of the storm was over the southwest part of China’s Guangdong Province.
The storm, forecasted to be the third storm battering the East Sea this year, and is moving west at 5-10 km per hour, was predicted to gain more strength, the centre said.
Due to the storm, northern provinces including Lai Châu, Điện Biên, Sơn La, Hòa Bình, Lào Cai, Yên Bái, Phú Thọ, Hà Giang, Tuyên Quang and Quảng Ninh as well as central provinces of Thanh Hóa, Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh were put on high alert for possible flash floods and landslides.
Floods, triggered by the storm, could appear in the river systems of Hồng, Thái Bình, Hoàng Long, Kỳ Cùng and Bằng Giang.
In response to the situation, administrations in two provinces of Nam Định and Thái Bình ordered its authorised agencies to prepare for the storm. The preparations involve informing offshore vessels about storm developments so that they can find safe shelter, evacuating people living in high-risk area of landslides, and mobilising all forces for emergencies.
In another development, statistics from Thanh Hóa Province’s administration yesterday showed that heavy rains and floods, occurring between August 11 and 17, killed one and caused total damage of VNĐ125 billion (US$5.6 million). During the rains and floods, 207 houses collapsed and over 120 tonnes of caged fish were killed.
First natural-disaster-coping exercise conducted
Also yesterday, the Việt Nam Red Cross Society conducted its first exercise to cope with natural disasters in Hà Nội.
The hypothetical situation given in the exercise was a tropical storm, with the devastation similar to the super storm Haiyan (which killed 13 people in Việt Nam after churning through the country late 2013), with wind speeds of 167-201 km per hour, hitting central provinces of Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên Huế and Đà Nẵng City.
Following the hypothetical situation, the Red Cross Society quickly contacted the National Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control to receive updates on storm developments as well as damage to both human life and property. The society would then assess the demand for aid of each storm-hit locality. The next step was calling for support from domestic and international organisations to assist people in storm-affected localities.
Chairman of the Red Cross Society Nguyễn Thị Xuân Thu said the exercise aimed to check the capability of the society in providing aid and coping with natural disasters.
Previously, staff of the Red Cross agency had been invited on a two-day training course to improve their skills in dealing with emergencies, especially natural disasters, which wrapped up on Tuesday. — VNS